Skip to Content

Uber Used CIA-Trained Staff to Spy on Rivals

December 18, 2017

A 37-page letter made public by a federal court as part of a trade secrets case reveals that Uber assembled an intelligence team in the summer of 2016.

The letter, which was sent from an ex-Uber official directly to the ride-hailer last May, has only now come to light. But it suggests that Uber's own spies, some of whom were trained by the CIA, were busy intercepting phone calls between rivals and lawmakers, and hacking other firms for details about drivers. The BBC notes that Uber says it hasn’t substantiated all the allegations, but the claims could bring criminal probes in 2018.

It rounds out a rough year for Uber, in which we’ve reported huge hacks, bans, and pressure to reform working practices.

Deep Dive


Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.