The Washington Post shares details from “a trove of more than 124,000 previously undisclosed Uber records.” For example, in 2015 Uber CEO Travis Kalanick often pulled an emergency kill switch on its data — that is, “ordered the computer systems in Amsterdam cut off from Uber’s internal network, making data inaccessible to authorities as they raided its European headquarters, documents show.”
“Please hit the kill switch ASAP,” Kalanick had emailed, ordering a subordinate to block the office laptops and other devices from Uber’s internal systems. “Access must be shut down in AMS,” referring to Amsterdam. Uber’s use of what insiders called the “kill switch” was a brazen example of how the company employed technological tools to prevent authorities from successfully investigating the company’s business practices as it disrupted the global taxi industry, according to the documents.
During this era, as Uber’s valuation was surging past $50 billion, government raids occurred