Uber built secret program to evade law enforcement

Uber Uses 'Ripley&apos in Times of Panic

The team overseeing the software is capable of remotely changing passwords, lock up data on company-owned smartphones, laptops, desktops and well as shut down the devices at a moments notice. She said Uber's guidance to employees bars use of the tool where it isn't legal. Uber's on-site managers followed protocol and alerted company headquarters about what was happening.

Per Bloomberg, once instance occurred in Montreal in May 2015 where around 10 investigators from the provincial tax authority raided Uber's office with a warrant to search for evidence pertaining to an alleged tax violation against the company. The call would result in a team in San Francisco remotely shutting down computers in the office under investigation making it hard if not impossible for law enforcement to retrieve the desired records. But as he works to rebrand Uber in the eyes of the public and set the company back on track, he continues to uncover new messes that Kalanick left behind, including regulatory threats to Uber's business overseas, and a major data breach made worse by former employees' efforts to hide it.

"Like every company with offices around the world, we have security procedures in place to protect corporate and customer data", Ensign said in a statement. "When it comes to government investigations, it's our policy to cooperate with all valid searches and requests for data".

In 2016 the security team began working on software called uLocker which could present a dummy version of a typical login screen to police or other unwanted eyes, the people say.

Sigourney Weaver as Warrant Officer Ripley in the hit film Alien 3 - the inspiration for Uber's latest software tool.

Most recently, Uber was blasted by lawmakers after a disclosure related to the Waymo lawsuit revealed that Uber paid off hackers to keep quiet about a data breech that stole the personal information of 57 million passengers and 600,000 drivers.

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Under the program, which was discontinued previous year, Uber created fake Lyft customer accounts to seek rides, allowing it to track nearby Lyft drivers and ride prices, the Journal said.

A report by Bloomberg today claimed the dial-a-ride broker built a tool called Ripley to remotely lock and remove potentially incriminating data from machines in branch offices that were being raided by cops.

Uber's other known anti-regulator projects include Greyball, which was created to identify regulators and law enforcement, in order serve up a fake version of the app where drivers would constantly cancel rides. Ripley allowed engineers based at the ride-hailing company's San Francisco headquarters to quickly deny remote access to driver and customer data.

Uber's use of Greyball was recorded on video in late 2014, when Erich England, a code enforcement inspector in Portland, Ore., tried to hail an Uber auto downtown as part of a sting operation against the company.

The three people with knowledge of the programme say they believe Ripley's use was justified in some cases because police outside the U.S. didn't always come with warrants or relied on broad orders to conduct fishing expeditions.

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