Waymo vs. Uber: Unsealed Court Documents Reveal Damning Evidence

from The Verge

The due diligence report that Uber fought so hard to keep from being used in its legal battle with Waymo and Alphabet was made public on Monday — and it’s easy to see why Uber resisted as hard as it did. The document, prepared by cybersecurity firm Stroz Friedberg as part of Uber’s acquisition of self-driving trucking startup Otto, describes a thorough forensic review of personal devices belonging to five people at Otto, including the much-embattled Anthony Levandowski, who earlier this year attempted to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid turning over documents in the case.

The report paints a picture of executives and lawyers trying to rein in improbably risky behavior at Uber and Otto, two wildly undisciplined companies, even as other top executives egged it on. At this point it’s not terribly surprising that the summary report of the investigation — apparently codenamed “Project Unicorn” by Stroz Friedberg — casts Levandowski and Uber’s then-CEO Travis Kalanick in a particularly bad light. But the report also has damning things to say about Levandowski’s cofounders, Lior Ron and Don Burnette, as well as other employees at Otto, including, of all people, the head of Human Resources.

The report describes, for instance, employees caught in lies in their interviews with Stroz investigators; an elaborate saga around the surreptitious destruction of five disks of confidential information belonging to Google; furtive text messages advising each other to delete message logs; and search engine queries regarding “how to secretly delete files mac” or “can a MacBook be recovered after formatting the OS.”

More here.

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