02:28 GMT +319 January 2020
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    The ride-hailing giant has allegedly hired former CIA operatives to conduct intelligence activities against its competitors.

    According to the Associated Press, a former senior Uber security executive testified this Tuesday that the world's most famous car-hailing company deployed a group of the CIA-trained operatives to monitor and steal secrets from its rivals.

    Richard Jacobs, who was Uber's manager of global intelligence from March 2016 until he was let go this April, told the court that the company engaged in controversial cyber intelligence operations overseas with help of the ex-CIA contractors.

    The former executive's lawyer released to the court a 37-page letter, which also claimed that Uber supposedly tried to cover up its illegal operations by using special technology to conceal its digital footprint.

    Jacobs was testifying as part of the on-going federal investigation into Uber's industrial and cyber espionage activities that has rocked Silicon Valley for the past year.

    In its lawsuit against Uber, the car manufacturer Waymo, which designs self-driving vehicles, argued that the taxi-hailing company stole its secret autonomous car technology.

    READ MORE: Uber Buys Thousands of Volvo Cars to Set Up Driverless Armada

    In an interesting twist, technology giant Google owns a 7% stake in Uber while it owns Waymo outright.

    The new revelations caused a delay in the court hearing that was originally scheduled for next Monday, so that Waymo may gather further evidence of Uber's misconduct.

    US District Judge William Alsup, who presides over the case, has called the allegations of Uber's illegal intelligence operations "scandalous."

    This is not the first time that the car-hailing giant has a run-in with the law.

    Last week, Uber's Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi revealed that the company unlawfully failed to report a massive hack of its users' personal information to the law enforcement authorities, opting in favor of bribing the cyber criminals instead.

    READ MORE: The Never-Ending Uber Saga: Investors Want 'Fresh Start,' Sue Ex-CEO Kalanick

    The New York state Attorney General began an investigation into the security breach, which affected 57 million Uber customers and was only possible thanks to the company's failure to take basic security precautions.

    Earlier this year, Travis Kalanick, who headed the embattled company before Khosrowshahi, was forced to step down after it was revealed that Uber was allegedly tolerating a rampant culture of sexual harassment and using cyber techniques to deceive law enforcement officers, who were investigating their activities. 

    Twitter went wild for Uber's epic failure at cyber espionage.


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    court case, self-driving car, industrial espionage, illegal, espionage, CIA, Google, Uber, Travis Kalanick, Dara Khosrowshahi, San Francisco, United States
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