Oh, joy: The Uber/Waymo conflamma is now at the center of a federal investigation

That Uber driver’s face in the pic above says it all–at least to the three of you still following this convoluted, never-ending story. AP reports:

A recent letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office confirms that the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation connected to allegations that a former Uber executive stole self-driving car technology from a Google spin-off to help the ride-hailing service build robotic vehicles.

The letter unsealed Wednesday by a federal judge marks the Justice Department’s first acknowledgement of the probe. The criminal investigation was mentioned in court hearings two weeks ago, but the Justice Department had declined to comment.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco unsuccessfully tried to keep its letter disclosing the investigation under seal to protect the inquiry’s integrity….

The letter revealed that a former Uber security specialist had informed Justice Department investigators that the company had routinely used secret communications channels and devices that could help conceal the existence of any technology stolen from a rival.

The Justice Department also disclosed that the former security specialist, Richard Jacobs, had sent a 37-page letter to one of Uber’s top lawyers alleging other misconduct, including the employment of an espionage team that tried to steal trade secrets from other companies, primarily overseas.

 

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