The judge in the $1.9 billion civil suit between Waymo and Uber released the letter of a disgruntled former employee on Friday, laying bare a number of explosive allegations against the ride-hailing company that include corporate espionage, unlawful surveillance, illegal wiretapping, bribery of foreign officials, and illicit hacking. That document also says that former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who was ousted in June, directly received stolen trade secrets.
That 37-page letter, penned by former Uber employee Ric Jacobs and sent to the company in May, became the center of a fierce debate between Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Uber, which did not previously disclose the document to Judge William Alsup. In turn, the federal district judge excoriated Uber’s lawyers in pre-trial hearings in November and suggested that they were attempting to hide something from the court.
Alsup only recently found out about the letter, after a US attorney investigating Uber for a potential federal case forwarded it to him. The document caused the judge to delay jury selection and the trial until the new year so that the plaintiffs could review the new evidence.
The letter, available in full to the public for the first time on Friday, contains allegations that could dramatically affect the outcome of Waymo’s case against Uber, and completely shatter the San Francisco-based company’s already frail reputation after a year of scandals. Crucially, it includes a claim that collections of stolen trade secret data were delivered directly to former CEO Travis Kalanick, though…