Вторник, 12 Декабря, 2017

Uber-Waymo trial delayed as United States judge raises prospect of 'cover-up'

A self-driving Uber sits ready to take journalists for a ride during a media preview in Pittsburgh. A federal criminal investigation into alleged espionage at Uber has indefinitely delayed a trial over whether the beleaguered ride-hailing service stole Judge delays Uber-Alphabet trial citing withheld evidence: 'The public is going to hear everything'
Heather Davidson | 29 Ноября, 2017, 01:09

US district judge William Alsup said it would be a "huge injustice" for the trial to start as scheduled next week, after he was sent a letter by the US Attorney for Northern California last week that shed light on Uber's secretive Strategic Services Group.

However Jacobs' testimony under oath and in public court has provided some remarkable details.

Waymo has accused Uber of concealing Jacobs' letter to an Uber in-house lawyer, saying the note contained important facts about the case, according to a court filing on Monday.

Alsup concluded that Uber withheld critical evidence that could substantiate Waymo's claim that its competitor stole highly valuable trade secrets to advance its self-driving vehicle technology.

The trial had been scheduled to begin on Dec. 4. Waymo said it learned of the new evidence last week after the U.S. Department of Justice shared it with Alsup

He also claimed that the team used a secretive messaging system on an anonymous server that would delete texts nearly immediately in order "to ensure we didn't create a paper trail that came back to haunt the company in any potential civil or criminal litigation".

"There was legal training around the use of attorney-client privilege markings on written materials and the implementation of encrypted and ephemeral communications meant to destroy communications that might be considered sensitive", Jacobs said.

In response, Jacobs was notably anxious and evasive. "I suppose because of my personal ethics it felt overly aggressive and invasive".

Gonzalez repeatedly tried to persuade Alsup that the allegations in Jacobs' letter had nothing to do with Waymo's case against Uber. Similarly long pauses accompanied other similar questions. Over the past year, Uber has been rocked by revelations of rampant sexual harassment inside the company, technological trickery created to thwart regulators and a yearlong cover-up of a hacking attack that stole the personal information of 57 million passengers and 600,000 drivers.

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In May, Alsup unexpectedly referred the case to the US Attorney's office. That letter was later obtained by USA law enforcement as part of an investigation into Uber's business. Jacobs said he received instructions on secure communication from Craig Clark, who was recently dismissed from Uber for his role in covering up a data breach. At the time he noted that "the court takes no position on whether a prosecution is or is not warranted", but the order was unusual and nearly certainly led to the letter from the US Attorney warning about the secret unit.

Waymo said that it had learned about the letter last week from the Department of Justice, according to MSNBC. Jacobs, testifying during the final pre-trial hearing, denied the allegations as "hyperbolic", according to the Journal. Russo, who also testified Tuesday, denied the letter's allegations against him.

For example, lawyer Arturo González told Alsup that "nobody on this defense team knew about" Uber using "shadow servers" to hide potentially incriminating information.

An already extraordinary trial has just got bigger.

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