back to article FBI probing Uber over use of 'Hell' spyware to track rival biz Lyft

The FBI is investigating allegations that Uber used its "Hell" program to track drivers from rival firm Lyft. The Wall Street Journal reports that one part of the investigation, led by the FBI's New York Office and Manhattan US Attorney's office, is into whether "Hell" counted as unauthorised computer access. An Uber …

  1. kain preacher Silver badge

    Is there a word for some that can not follow the law ? Some one that is compelled to break all the rules and be a dick .

    1. Caltharian

      Yes there is!


      1. Nameless Faceless Computer User

        Re: Yes there is!

        no, American Corporation

  2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge


    Uber is a criminal organization. It and it's VC's should be prosecuted under the RICO Act ( Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). Plain & simple.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: RICO

      And the city mayors funded by political contributions from the taxi companies while charging $M for a taxi license and banning alternatives are a what ?

      1. whoseyourdaddy

        Re: RICO

        Uh, isn't ElReg chock full of articles where Uber is deliberately screwing their drivers to pay for driverless car technology with the ultimate hope of screwing everyone else?

        At least those medallions appreciate in value. At a certain price point, you don't have a glut of taxi services clogging the roadways agressively fighting over a limited number of customers. They're in a position to drive safe, be responsible, and in my experience, actually give a damn to care about customer service.

        "Banning alternatives".

        No one wins when pickup areas around airports are a parkinglot of Uber drivers trying to snare fares.

        My avoidance of Uber has everything to do with the observation that in the bay area, the majority of cars that slam on the brakes in traffic or double park while staring down at their phones...are Uber drivers.

        Never mind that a former coworker lost his life in a Nissan when his Uber driver pulled into traffic and was T-Boned. Sleep deprived? Don't care.

        F*ck Uber. Follow the laws or GTFO.

      2. G.Y.

        Re: RICO

        The $1M goes into a private person's pocket. Ask Charles I how this worked out.

      3. TVU

        Re: RICO

        "And the city mayors funded by political contributions from the taxi companies while charging $M for a taxi license and banning alternatives are a what ?".

        They are protecting their citizens from unchecked and unverified Uber drivers who, surprise surprise, often turn out to be convicted felons such as paedophiles, rapists and sex pests.

      4. FrankAlphaXII

        Re: RICO

        A Cartel. But don't call it that. People like the godawful Taxis here because they probably don't have to use them. If the Taxi cartel would fix their product Lyft and Uber wouldn't exist. But that makes sense. Can't have that. I will say that Lyft is better to work for, they had tipping about a year before Uber ever considered it.

        Anyway, a lot of drivers work for both Uber and Lyft (and some of the smaller companies), so l really wonder how useful tracking the competition would be. I don't see much of a need for it when the same people work for both.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: RICO

      And obviously drug dealing as well. There is a definite subliminal message there that arrests were made in Portland, Oregon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Austin. I hope they get all the Poppas.

  3. Jim-234

    Uber - All of your evil are belong to us

    It seems Uber is determined to be the most evil corporation possible & every day they invent new evil to do because the previous evil wasn't evil enough.

    The next time some Capitalist Utopian is blathering on about how the government shouldn't be interfering with corporations, and all that BS... you could just reply:... Uber....

    History seems to be repeating itself and we are going back to the late 1800s with the robber barons, trusts and mega industrialists of those days and the eventual laws that got put in place to keep them in check.

    The current batch of Technocrats are all pushing the limits of evil (Oracle is already into the pay us to work for us range of evil), and eventually it will once again cause public revolt & the politicians that looked the other way will come out in favour of big legislation to be seen to be fixing the problem (that they allowed in the first place). Politicians want that cash first but eventually get scared of being voted out of office (which would make them not able to get those sweet "contributions").

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Uber - All of your evil are belong to us

      Down vote as the only result of previous legislation, investigation and punishment is that every other corporation besides the ones that had bought the right politicians and regulators were put out of business. That's what will happen here. Crony Capitalism is very, very old. Older than capitalism and that's a neat trick indeed.

  4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    it's worth noting that the program is no longer operational,

    Ah, that's all right then. I'm no longer axe murdering people so no point in investigating that since any possible or alleged crimes are no longer happening.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: it's worth noting that the program is no longer operational,

      Works for the police / politicians / military - lessons have been learned, procedures put in place, people have been early retired on full pensions

  5. Tubz

    Uber should just sell up and go under, nobody likes them or wants them operating now, as they are just not trustworthy !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      uber should just sell up and go under

      They would love to "sell up" in the form of an IPO.

      Tough to do when you've got a pack of clueless sociopaths in charge generating headlines like this.

  6. Terafirma-NZ

    As much as I have a distaste for Uber I wish the rest of the IT world would stop using them as the an example of the times and why I need to buy said vendors product.

    I get it you all make loads of $$ from pay as you go but using the most toxic company is current existence it not going to win me over.

    One recent event even went as far as using Uber as a positive example of woman in tech... Guess they never went online before writing their speech.

  7. imanidiot Silver badge

    I guess nobody saw that coming...

    The internal culture at Uber certainly WAS and probably still is rotten to the core. Companies where this sort of thing are happening are just screwed up internally from top to bottom. Replacing just management or just the underlings isn't going to do it. Once a culture like this sets in, it's very hard to get rid of.

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