03:05 GMT05 June 2020
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    A letter from a former Uber employee revealed new facts in the Waymo vs. Uber legal battle.

    On December 15, the details of a 37-page letter sent to Uber were released to the public amid the US Court proceedings. The letter, which was sent to Uber in May by former Uber employee Richard Jacobs, contains allegations of the company stealing competitors' secrets and engaging in undercover surveillance.

    The letter, with some redactions, is now available to read for all. It was written by the attorney of a former employee and it contains claims that Uber resorted to hacking its competitors, surveillance of political figures, law enforcement agencies, taxi companies and labor unions and even bugged meetings between transport regulators. In addition, the letter goes into detail about "illegal wiretapping," "illegal hacking" and "espionage."

    Jacobs worked at the ride-hailing company from March 2016 until April 2017 as a member of its global intelligence team, where he evaluated the risks the company faced in emerging markets. He resigned after he was caught forwarding internal emails to his personal address.

    READ MORE: Hush: Uber Paid Hacker $100K to Keep Quiet About Breach

    Uber consider these allegations outlined in the letter to be "groundless." An Uber spokeswoman said in a statement: "While we haven’t substantiated all the claims in this letter – and, importantly, any related to Waymo – our new leadership has made clear that going forward we will compete honestly and fairly, on the strength of our ideas and technology."

    ​In October, Waymo, the autonomous-vehicle unit of Google parent company Alphabet, filed a lawsuit against Uber, claiming that Uber's former star engineer Antony Levandovski, stole 14,000 "highly confidential" files to develop its own autonomous trucking company Otto, that was acquired later by Uber. The case was set to go to trial earlier this month but was delayed until February because of the Jacobs' letter's revelation, according to BBC.


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    court case, letter, court, surveillance, Uber, United States
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