Uber lobbied, used ‘stealth’ tech to block scrutiny: Report

WASHINGTON: Like Uber pushed into markets around the world, the carpooling service lobbied political leaders to relax labor and taxi laws, using “killer switches” to thwart regulators and law enforcement, move money through Bermuda and other tax havens and consider portraying violence against its drivers as a way to gain public sympathy, according to a report published Dad on Sunday.
The International Association of Investigative Journalists, a nonprofit network of investigative reporters, scoured Uber’s internal documents, emails, invoices and other documents to come up with the so-called “” An unprecedented look at how Uber defied taxi laws and improved workers’ rights.”
The documents were first leaked to the British newspaper The Guardian, which shared them with the corporation.
In a written statement. Uber spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker acknowledged “mistakes” in the past and said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, hired in 2017, had “been tasked with changing every aspect of how Uber operates.. When we say Uber today is a different company, we mean it literally: 90% of current Uber employees joined after Dara became CEO.”
Founded in 2009, Uber sought to circumvent taxi regulations and offer inexpensive transportation through its ride-sharing app. The group’s Uber Files group has revealed the unusual amount of time the company has taken to establish itself in nearly 30 countries.
Corporate lobbyists – including former aides to the Chairman Barack Obama – pressed government officials to drop the investigation, rewrite labor and taxi laws and relax background checks on drivers, reports show.
The investigation found that Uber used “stealth technology” to fend off government investigations. For example, the company used a “kill switch” to cut off access to Uber’s servers and block authorities from collecting 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: “Press the kill switch as soon as possible… Access must be turned off at AMS (Amsterdam).”
The corporation also reported that Kalanick had seen threats of violence against Uber drivers in the past France by harmed taxi drivers as a way to win public support. Kalanick messaged his colleagues: “Violence guarantees success(s).
In a response to the corporation, a spokesman for Kalanick Devon Spurgeon said the former CEO “never suggested that Uber should use violence at the expense of driver safety.”
Uber filings say the company slashed its tax bill by millions of dollars by sending profits through Bermuda and other tax havens, then “seeks to deflect attention from its tax obligations.” himself by helping the authorities collect taxes from his drivers.”

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