Official Reports: How Uber Spread ‘illegal’ Ride-sharing Globally

The Guardian obtained a cache of documents from Uber that was shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and dozens of other news outlets. 

The Uber Files is a collection of more than 124,000 documents spanning 2013 to 2017. It outlines the company's plans for global expansion.

Uber responded to the leak via a blog post on its website. It stated that it has "moved away from an era a confrontation to one of cooperation" since CEO Dara Khosrowshahi assumed control following the resignation of founder Travis Kalanick in 2017.

According to The Guardian, the leak also "shows Uber's attempt to shore up support by discreetly cursing prime ministers, Billionaires and media barons.

The Washington Post published an article that alleged Uber used a "kill switch" to block authorities from investigating its business practices. 

Another article outlined how Uber "used violent attacks on drivers" to advance its agenda. The report contains citations from the "Dawn Raid Manual" that Uber created. 

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It included a bullet point that stated to "never leave alone the Regulators." BBC reports that Emmanuel Macron, the French president, told Uber's CEO that he could change laws in Uber's favor.

It also shows that Neelie Kroes, an ex-EU commissioner, was trying to join the advisory board of Uber before she left her last European position and lobbying informally for the company's cause during a "cooling off" period.

Uber started offering ride-sharing services all over the globe. The Guardian reports that executives were "under no illusions" about Uber's law-breaking. One executive joked that they had become "pirates."

In Uber's response, Jill Hazelbaker (SVP of marketing and public relations) writes, "We haven't and won't make excuses for past behavior that is clearly not consistent with our current values." 

We ask that the public judge us based on what we have done in the past five years and what they will do in future years.

Devon Spurgeon, a spokesperson for Travis Kalanick, provided a long list of denials published by the ICIJ. He stated, "Mr. Kalanick did not authorize or direct any illegal conduct in Uber's Russian expansion efforts.

In fact, he had only a very limited role in these expansion plans. Kalanick also never suggested that Uber should use violence to protect driver safety. 

The ICIJ asserts that Mr. Kalanick directed illegal and improper conduct. Some documents, including some that Mr. Kalanick authored, are nearly a decade old.