Mr. Jacobs received $2 million up front and was to receive $1 million spread over 12 months and $1.5 million in stock, also spread out over 12 months.
I think his job is one of those "I can do this job from home" Fightclub type jobs.
There was no evidence of issues, yet they will still have a look to make sure of it.
That being said I doubt any of us honestly believe those words from Uber.
Those words just don't ring true no matter who they came from, and Uber's recent pay-off of a hacker who breached their customer data follows the exact same pattern.
Go back and read the article carefully, please. I'll repeat thisisit's pointed questions for you to address after you've gotten your head around the facts:
>I am sorry but do you mean companies should pay off a whistle-blower rather than say -
>a. litigate, if the claims are baseless
>b. In case the claim has substance to try and rectify the issue along with responsible disclosure?
After getting your head around all that, do you really think the guy who said "The fact that two qualified employees, a lawyer and a security constant, getting a similar sum should hint that it is common." sounds unbiased?
The payout is a different matter, that we both agree doesn't contribute to their defense.
A lawyer will probably earn more than that in a lifetime, so why would he accept?
4M looks like a normal package for a middle employee.
The fact that two qualified employees, a lawyer and a security constant, getting a similar sum should hint that it is common.
Uber’s rationale for the settlement: It would cost less to settle with him than to fight him in court. Also, Mr. Jacobs’s claims could hurt Uber’s reputation, Ms. Padilla testified.
I guess it's open season at Uber now? All you have to do is send them a letter with bogus claims, and they'll pay you millions? /s
Sometimes companies think its an easier/faster solution to pay them even if the accusation is false. But sometimes, they choose the wrong way to deal with the problem.
Disclaimer: not saying Uber is innocent in this case specifically, just giving an example
She has no idea about some of the aspects of Uber that some may find objectionable.
Much of the rest of the world already has perfectly fine minicabs that turn up in 5 minutes.
Good thing about Uber for the rest of the world is US VCs subsidising our rides.
1. allow cabs to run mostly unregulated (besides the regulated monopoly part)
2. cab service is crap because drivers rent the taxi license from someone who broker rented taxi licenses. its mind boggling how far the drivers are from the meddalions.
3. startup breaks tons of laws, including the one making cabs a bad monopoly and abuse user data left and rigth.
4. americans thing it is the best thing ever.
wake up and realize that the taxi monopoly was the cause. uber is just trying to replace one monopoly with another. because being at the top of that monopoly is very lucrative.
the only good thing uber did was prove without doubt that taxi monopoly laws were bad and didnt serve the drivers or the community. but absolutely nobody is willing to even consider talking about it. its all PR about "uber saved mankind".
So this is why Uber and its clones are so popular in all kinds of countries from India to China to South East Asia? To be honest it is you who seems like the less traveled one.
Her only reply was that she heard an Uber driver raped a passenger. That's it. Even with her daily CNN news habit, she does not know about:
- Uber workplace sexual harrassment
- Uber using grayball against government officials
- Uber legal fights about contractor vs employee classifications
- Uber lawsuit about corporate espionage
Yes, it's just a sample size of 1 but I think it's very easy to overestimate what typical people know about Uber. The HN bubble repeatedly upvotes negative Uber stories that would never cross the radar of most everyone else.
You presented her as an avid reader of CNN a functionally irrelevant detail as if to say if even SHE doesn't know about bad press about uber obviously the plebs don't.
Unfortunately there isn't any representative sample size of one and the fact that she reads CNN on her ipad tells you little about what she reads on CNN.
You could even be correct but the way you prove your point is so badly argued that you do a disservice to your own point.
You should avoid making your arguments about appeals to emotional reasoning.
 Lyft driver cancel policy: https://help.lyft.com/hc/en-us/articles/213584358#drivercanc...
Policy is to address the combined impact of frequency and magnitude.
Definitely not worth the ride. The fact that you can get kicked out at any time tends to moderate your behavior.
To be clear, I'm talking about drunk and belligerent. If you're just drunk and vomiting, first there's a cleaning penalty. Second, people are generally most sympathetic as it does not make you a bad person.
Some people are just assholes. Heck, if they like abusing people after a bad day at work, they might even take the long way around so they can feel better after more sustained abuse.
1. Ones who drive for both - this cohort used to prefer Lyft due to tips but the scales have tipped (no pun) due to Uber introducing a whole host of features which Lyft is catching up to. This is easily verifiable by frequenting reddit.com/r/uberdrivers or reddit.com/r/lyft
2. Ones who only drive for Uber because the demand is overwhelming enough to not justify managing two separate accounts.
Anything else you hear is pure anecdote. My source - I am an Uber employee :)
They have both lyft and uber, whichever is faster or cheaper, they take.
Sometimes you just need to get from point A to point B
Is this a joke? Is this real? I can't even.
What makes much more sense is that the payoff bought off his silence, and that the "position" they offered him was a sop to his conscience.
Payments spread over 12 months with an employment contract look like salary.
Uber probably said "you're employed to stay at home and not have any valid work logins or email addresses"
The idea that there was some machievellian scheme to keep this guy on the books in order to monitor him more closely does not ring true at all.
If we assume for a minute that uber is abysmal at management, it makes sense that they would go for the crazy strategy to keep him aboard and monitor him.
> This is the kind of thing that makes sense on a message board
> That's crazy logic.
The HN guidelines almost directly address this kind of comment:
When disagreeing, please reply to the argument instead of calling names. "That is idiotic; 1 + 1 is 2, not 3" can be shortened to "1 + 1 is 2, not 3."
Brevity is the soul of wit.
"Narrator: I have a better solution: You keep me on the payroll as an outside consultant and in exchange for my salary, my job will be never to tell people these things that I know. "
Threatens to become a whistle blower? Pay the guy 4.5 million and his lawyer 3 million.
Stolen data? Pay the hacker to delete data.
Arguably, that has been their growth plan: Throw investor money at unprofitable business, and watch the competition disappear. Is it a sort of network-effect asset bubble?
But I guess in this case, Uber did the ethical and financial calculus, and decided they could totally trust somebody who'd broken into their computers, stolen sensitive customer information, and tried to extort them, so they paid him a spectacular hourly wage for few hour project of deleting files that he proposed in a cold-call, without even checking his references, and they even let him work from home!
I sure hope the hacker gives Uber a great review on GlassDoor!
It makes me think the hacker found vastly more incriminating dirt on them that merely customer data, like Travis Kalanick's email, with a smoking gun proving they're withholding even more incriminating evidence from Wamo than they're already in trouble for.
a. litigate, if the claims are baseless
b. In case the claim has substance to try and rectify the issue along with responsible disclosure?
they should act morally, etc., that's not what I'm saying. I'm trying to extract the raw incentives of the situation
Well, I guess they'd know how bad that was.
First off, Enron was publicly traded. Uber is private.
I will just leave this here.
>Between 1996 and 2000, Enron's revenues increased by more than 750%, rising from $13.3 billion in 1996 to $100.8 billion in 2000. This extensive expansion of 65% per year was unprecedented in any industry, including the energy industry which typically considered growth of 2–3% per year to be respectable. For just the first nine months of 2001, Enron reported $138.7 billion in revenues, which placed the company at the sixth position on the Fortune Global 500
>the company used accounting limitations to misrepresent earnings and modify the balance sheet to indicate favorable performance
Enron purposefully caused brownouts throughout the western US as part of their price-manipulation schemes. . They shutdown a power plant in direct contravention of a federal order to maintain full output to help with the (enron-induced) crisis.
... which would basically be akin to telling them "Get out of the self-driving vehicle business."
"If we are not tied for first, then the person who is in first, or the entity that's in first, then rolls out a ride-sharing network that is far cheaper or far higher-quality than Uber's, then Uber is no longer a thing"
OTOH, Alsup (the judge in this case) recommended to look into a criminal investigation against Uber, which seems to be in progress considering that is what lead to the Jacob's letter in Alsup's hands. That potential investigation could have worse impact than just "don't do self-driving cars". Depending on the verdict, it could lead to anything between nothing to prison time for numerous executives to the point that the company itself would struggle to survive.
it probably would result in Uber being acquired
>would be that Uber would be forbidden from using the stolen technology or its fruits
No, that's pretty much already happened as part of the preliminary injunction. Uber has so far argued that insofar as Levandowski had and may have used trade secrets, they never made it into any production vehicles, and so firing Levandowski meets that bar.
If Google wins the lawsuit, there are probably damages to be had. In addition to saying "no, stop using this or any of its fruits", my understanding is that the court can order Uber to pay Google for the advantages it god. In other words, if the trade secrets advanced Uber's autonomous vehicle initiatives by a year, they might be liable for a year's worth of autonomous vehicle R&D costs, and also need to start over from not having any trade secrets.
A preliminary injunction goes away with (or before) final resolution of the case (though it may, at that time, be replaced with a permanent injunction.)
- Make money willfully violating the law
- Use a portion of the money to pay fines, settlements, cover ups. Keep violating the law
That's how they expanded to many countries before they were even authorized.
- hire a PR firm to flood new cities with stories of how g great uber is
- build up a huge rider and driver base by offering riders deep discounts and drivers big bonuses
- when threaten with regulations email the user base asking them to contact city officials because regulators are stifling innovation and limiting consumer choice... asnd throw in a line about taxis being old and crappy. They did this exactly when it wad announced London banned them.
There was some nuance to it and valid points being made by both the city and Uber but Uber's absolutely over the top response and absolutism turned a lot of residents of the city off of them.
So true. They subsidized rides and operated at a loss just to capture all the market, then backstabbed the drivers to profitability.
Now there are drivers below minimum wage.
Uber's already admitted to deleting evidence against the rules (previously to this, they claimed it was a mistake).
Waymo is asking the judge to order that "adverse inference" be applied to the contents of that evidence, effectively that for the purposes of this trial the jury (and possibly the judge for motions of summary judgement? Not sure but I would expect so) be ordered to assume that evidence say whatever is most beneficial to Waymo, within reason.
In an extreme case the judge might order the jury to assume the deleted emails said "Hey, we got all these trade secrets from whatshisname, awesome right". Which would effectively be Waymo winning by default.
I'm not sure if there are any other mechanisms that might cause Waymo to win by default (I doubt it), but the above is a real possibility.
1. Paid an employee 4.5M after sending accusatory email to CEO
2. Levandowski used Wickr for an unknown purpose, an app no longer used within the company
3. Said email to CEO hidden from discovery during trial
None of this is 100% proof, but the body of evidence that is growing makes it harder and harder to reasonably believe that Uber is innocent here.
That said yes the quote as stated is misleading of what Alsup actually said. I just wish the headline was about the points above, not his quote.
With widespread surveillance and hacking there are a hundred other reasons besides hiding evidence from an IP trial for using an app like that.
Uber's claims the letter from the security employee, who highlighted the use of 'special laptops' and self-destruction messaging apps, was of an 'extortionist' nature and led to him getting a payout. Calling that employee a 'whistleblower' is another potential spin.
Which is why that statement rightfully includes "On the surface...".
Paying off someone is far more directly relevant but again there is a presumption of innocence for very good reasons. And I don't think we should ignore that
> Jacobs: Uber's use of encrypted ephemeral systems was dessigned to protect sensitive info and ensure we didn’t create a paper trail that wd come back to haunt the co in any potential civil or criminal investigation. 
> Judge quotes Jacob's atty letter: Uber employees went to Pittsburgh to educate the AV group about ephemeral, encrypted communications "to prevent Uber's unlawful schemes from seeing the light of day" 
In that letter, likely written by his attorney who also got $3 million, had a clear incentive to twist the narrative of using an app like Wickr to make it seem as malicious and damaging as possible.
Uber also went to federal prosecutors with his letter to preempt him from using it for further personal gain. They didn't try to hide from it.
I'm not saying it wasn't used for malicious purposes but I'd take those allegations in the letter with a grain of salt.
Seriously? What ever happened to due process?
So, there are a lot of legit questions as to why Lewandowski was using it to communicate? With whom was he speaking? When and why did he decide to use self destroying communication?
I'd imagine the best practice for hiring a employee that could have a potential conflict of interest or be in violation of an employment agreement would be to document the great lengths the new company went to make sure there was no IP violations and keep records of everything. Though, one could argue that Uber saw value in destroying evidence and create doubting, where the truth would most certainly be damning.
The most notable part to me is that Uber stopped using the app. What would change in the privacy world to make them not need that app if they had a use for it before?
Add that to all the other context of the case, and malicious use is a lot more likely to me.
> Paying off someone is far more directly relevant but again there is a presumption of innocence for very good reasons.
If I'm not mistaken, this is a civil suit and subject to "more likely than not" rather than "beyond a reasonable doubt". I find a hard time making an argument that it's more likely Uber didn't use Levandowski to steal trade secrets from Google.
Does every company that switches from one messaging system to another need a nefarious reason?
“I can’t trust anything you say because it’s been proven wrong so many times,” he told Uber. “You’re just making the impression that this is a total cover-up.”
Which also seems quite damning. https://www.ft.com/content/3d4cb174-d636-11e7-a303-9060cb1e5...
When he says "On the surface it looks like you covered this up" he is putting Uber and their lawyers on notice that they had better convince him that they did not in fact cover it up or their world will be filled with hurt.
Update: See "Ethics in Discovery: Where the Rubber Meets the Road" page 17
In an extreme example of discovery related misconduct experienced by the Commission, the defendant intentionally withheld relevant evidence through tampering with documents, lodging baseless objections to production, purposefully misleading the court and the parties, and
delaying in responding to permissible discovery requests.
Sounds familiar... and Fry's got hit with some serious sanctions (trial sanctions, not the fines).
Ultimately, the Court struck the affirmative defense to the harassment claim, deemed improperly withheld documents presumptively admissible at trial, ordered a jury instruction that one of the justifications for firing a plaintiff was pretextual, permitted EEOC to argue adverse inference at trial, and imposed $100,000 in sanctions ($25,000 to each of three plaintiffs and $25,000 to the court). In addition, the Court appointed a special master to review and report to the court about defendant’s compliance with outstanding discovery requests.
Its not the first time they have mislead the court.
That's often how an on the surface statement is construed.
Wouldn't that pass more-or-less the same message? I don't see how the omission is significant, let alone "pretty misleading".
"it looks like" can be used in place of a more definitive statement. "on the surface it looks like" is almost never used that way.
It seems to me that what he is saying is, in the absence of some sort of convincing exculpatory evidence or argument that so far has not been presented, it looks like a cover-up. I don't think I agree with your analysis here.
Do you happen to work for Uber?
It doesn't seem like a good thing that using self-destructing messaging apps is considered by our court system to be "questionable behavior". It is akin to the argument that using encryption implies guilt.
That's quite a stretch.
If you read the document, it says they use self-destructing apps to not leave paper trail.
That is akin to saying you used encryption so that DEA won't catch you selling drugs.
I love this, not only do we get to read the letter, we also get to read Uber's transparent objections beforehand.
Case in point in 2014 1K was stolen from my bank account via my Uber account for a ride in London(im in DC). I searched Twitter and saw 10 to 20 ppl a day complaining about the same thing.
I assumed that if that were the case, it would follow logically that an "intellectual theft trial" would be a trial to determine theft of intellectual property. I suppose it might be strange if the former is not common vernacular.
Perhaps I'm just being overly purist, but I always want to hang them (not literally) AND try to solve the problem. In this case, if it's true than we clearly need more oversight on startups/companies, and we also need to prosecute Uber.
The law is pretty clear; its just that most people are not prosecuted for it.
For a variation on this involving the selling of drugs, see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/29/netherlands-co....
Saying that the law does not recognize whataboutism is a red herring (Unless we are talking about the outcome of a specific legal case).
In short, whataboutism is a legitimate argument for why someone should not be prosecuted (Because the law has nothing to do with that decision.)
(It's an exercise for the reader to determine whether "startup agility" and "disruption" are just polite synonyms for "taking advantage of the framework's weaknesses to dodge the legal and ethical responsibilities that big companies cannot afford to dodge" ;) ).
Disclaimer: I in no one way support the U.S. political system and would definitely support a system with more transparency so that, the people with significant unremedied skeletons in their closet, have no chance of making it to consideration for office.
In particular, I'd put the odds that 100% of software most startups use to generate product is correctly and completely licensed at "low." License compliance is expensive, and it's an easy responsibility to dodge if you can trust the aggrieved parties won't sue because your company's entire valuation isn't worth the price of their lawyers' time.
If we consider each domain, from hiring to operations, finance to development, I'll take your 100% odds - there are just too many areas of concern for a handful of people to get exactly right.
We could also get into a social discussion, but I won't, and instead will just say I suppose technically that makes what the startup is doing criminal. However, I personally, which is irrelevant since I'm not running the whole system, find the types of things Uber has done to be magnitudes more criminal than incorrect usage of a software license.
That said, I concede that it is indeed illegal, and therefore, your estimate probably isn't too far off from the truth. :)
Also, I don't see what's the legal problem with spying on your competitors. I mean, Google and Facebook are spying on their customers, and the law apparently has no problem with that.
They should have because in a civil case like this there is a property called discovery where each side gets to request certain information from the other side. And the other side is required to give it or argue it's outside the bounds of what they can request to the judge, who will decide. In this case Uber had already legally agreed/been ordered to give Waymo all documents in categories this letter clearly falls under, in various ways. For instance one of the more damning given what we know about the letter would be "All DOCUMENTS REGARDING DEFENDANTS’ policies regarding employees’ use of personal computers or other devices while working at or for DEFENDANTS."
A lot is still redacted from the public, but you can see more details on page 7 of their brief: https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.cand.308136...
I say this is the most important part of your question, because this is the one area where Uber pretty much unquestionably, intentionally broke the law. Regardless of whether or the allegations in the letter are true, it was a document that they were legally required to turn over but didn't. The head council explicitly made the decision to turn it over to the US attorney and not Waymo so it's not even plausible they missed it.
(I am not a lawyer)
It's not spying, it's doing so illegally. Facebook and Google don't do that. The letter accuses Uber of doing just that, and that's pretty damned relevant in a case where Uber stole trade secrets.
An employee was accusing them of doing something highly unethical and potentially illegal regarding information about competitors. Again, that's incredibly relevant.
They will use their knowledge of what doesn't work, and how not to approach problems gleaned from their previous employer to solve your problems much quicker.
Previous employers cost to develop a space laser: 5 years.
Time to re-invent space laser when you already know how to do it: 6 months.
Time to invent: 0
We don't know what's in the letter (yet) but it very well could touch on exactly what Uber was trying to hide, hence the 7.5 million dollar bribe.