Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Uber Ripley Program: Company Shut Down Computers To Block Law Enforcement Access

Uber Ripley Program: Company Shut Down Computers To Block Law Enforcement Access

According to three people worth knowledge of the system, Ripley was utilised between Spring 2015 and late 2016 to routinely prevent authorities across the world from obtaining evidence against the company.

While many companies shut down computers during police raids to give managers time to read police warrants, Uber's system differed in that it was used at least a dozen times, according to Bloomberg's sources.

Like managers at Uber's hundreds of offices overseas, they'd been trained to page a number that alerted specially trained staff at company headquarters in San Francisco.

Uber employees took to calling the program Ripley after Sigourney Weaver's character in the "Alien" movies. "That's the only odd thing here to me", he said, pointing out that most companies will use very common end-point management software.

The report details an example back in 2015, when authorities raided Uber's Montreal office under the belief that the company had violated tax laws.

A year ago the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it is probing to see if Uber used software to illegally interfere with its competitors, the Wall Street Journal reported. Kalanick was replaced in August by the former CEO of Expedia, Dara Khosrowshahi.

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Uber is serious about "security" in it offices.when it comes to evidence.and hiding that from the police.that show up with search warrants. 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.

Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi addressing his new team at Uber's San Francisco headquarters in late August.

Uber is reported to have used remote shutdowns of computers to thwart police raids.

Uber is said to have even considered a system called uLocker, which would present law enforcement officials with a dummy login screen.

In response to the article, Uber released a statement to Bloomberg that reads, "Like every company with offices around the world, we have security procedures in place to protect corporate and customer data". She said Uber's guidance to employees bars use of the tool where it isn't legal. The company also said its policy is to cooperate with all valid searches and requests for data.

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