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.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build

“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”

Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives

The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.

Learning to code isn’t enough

Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.

Deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has quit Google

Hinton will be speaking at EmTech Digital on Wednesday.

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.