Uber Used Another Secret Software Program to Evade Police

Uber Used Another Secret Software Program to Evade Police

Most companies don't expect police to raid their offices, but Uber isn't most companies.

Uber (Private:UBER) had a remote system called Ripley that could shut off access to all of the electronics in an office raided by law enforcement, according to Bloomberg.

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. One type of software the company devised and reportedly used from Spring 2015 to late 2016 was called Ripley, according to a report by Bloomberg. The report states, "Uber has reason to be cautious with the sensitive information it holds about customers and their locations around the world".

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When we asked Uber for comment, a spokesperson replied with the company's official statement: "Like every company with offices around the world, we have security procedures in place to protect corporate and customer data". As described by Bloomberg, around 10 investigators from the provincial tax authority stormed Uber's office with a warrant to search for evidence pertaining to an alleged tax violation. It's happened in Paris, Hong Kong, Montreal and other countries. "When it comes to government investigations, it's our policy to cooperate with all valid searches and requests for data". The company used it at least two dozen times in situations with authorities in foreign countries, according to Bloomberg. 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. That way the police are unable to access the systems, and cannot leave with any evidence. Those who knew about the software nicknamed it Ripley, after Sigourney Weaver's flamethrower-wielding hero in the Alien movies. However, what is out of the ordinary in this case it how frequently Ripley has been employed. The authorities believed Uber had violated tax laws and had a warrant to collect evidence.

The use of this tool raises questions for Uber because the company has in the past used a phony version of its app to thwart authorities.

The service was able to show them a fake app populated with "ghost" cars and cancel their rides. Further, the judge said that Uber's actions demonstrated "all the characteristics of an attempt to obstruct justice". We also send freebies and lots of other goodies exclusively to our email subscribers. The company now uses a tool called ULocker that can remotely lock and encrypt devices. It's basically the same software someone would use if they lost their smartphone.

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