Uber Lobbied And Used ‘stealth’ Technology To Block Scrutiny

Uber Lobbied And Used ‘stealth’ Technology To Block Scrutiny

Washington — As Uber aggressively pushed into markets around the world, the ride-sharing service pushed political leaders to relax taxi and labor laws, used an “off switch” to thwart regulators and law enforcement. order, funneled money through Bermuda and other tax havens and considered portraying violence against his drivers as a way to gain public sympathy, according to a report released Sunday. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a nonprofit network of investigative reporters, reviewed Uber’s text messages, emails, invoices and other internal documents to deliver what it called “an unprecedented look at the ways in which Uber defied taxi laws and turned workers’ rights upside down.” The documents were first leaked to the British newspaper The Guardian, which shared them with the consortium. In a written statement, Uber spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker acknowledged “mistakes” in the past, saying CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, hired in 2017, was “tasked to transform every aspect of how Uber operates… When we say that Uber is a different company today, we mean it.” literally: 90% of current Uber employees joined after Dara became CEO.” Founded in 2009, Uber sought to sidestep taxi regulations and offer cheap transportation through a ride-sharing app. The Uber Files of the consortium revealed the extraordinary efforts that the company undertook to establish itself in almost 30 countries. Lobbyists for the company, including former advisers to President Barack Obama, pressured administration officials to drop their investigations, rewrite taxi and labor laws and relax background checks on drivers, documents show. The investigation found that Uber used “stealth technology” to defend itself against government investigations. The company, for example, used a “kill switch” that cut off access to Uber’s servers and blocked authorities from obtaining evidence during raids in at least six countries. During a police raid in Amsterdam, Uber Files reported, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick personally issued an order: “Please hit the off switch ASAP… Access must be closed at AMS (Amsterdam) “. The consortium also reported that Kalanick saw the threat of violence against Uber drivers in France by aggrieved taxi drivers as a way to garner public support. “Violence guarantees success,” Kalanick wrote to his colleagues. In a response to the consortium, Kalanick’s representative, Devon Spurgeon, said the former chief executive “never suggested that Uber should take advantage of violence at the expense of driver safety.” Uber’s filings say the company reduced its tax bill by millions of dollars by sending profits through Bermuda and other tax havens, and then “tried to deflect attention from its tax liabilities by helping authorities collect taxes from its customers.” drivers”. Connect with the ! Subscribe to our channel Youtube

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