Mar 6, 2017

Silicon Valley rep: Uber's tactics "deeply disturbing"

Jeff Chiu / AP

Silicon Valley congressman Ro Khanna isn't mincing words in response to a Friday New York Times report that Uber used an internal tool to dodge local officials who wanted to investigate the service. Here's what he had to say in a statement to Axios when asked about the report:

"Uber's practices of how it treats employees and how it has used technology to evade the law are deeply disturbing. Aldous Huxley showed that technology is amoral; it is not an end in itself. Technology companies must be guided by the values of decency and respect to make sure they are helping make a contribution to society. Uber is failing to live up to that standard."

Background: The Times reported last week that Uber had used a program called Greyball to track and deny rides to regulators engaging in stings of UberX. It published not long after a former engineer alleged that she had been sexually harassed at the company, triggering a public outcry and an investigation at the company. Khanna expressed concerns about those allegations.

What Uber says: A company spokesperson said last week that the Greyball software "denies ride requests to fraudulent users who are violating our terms of service — whether that's people aiming to physically harm drivers, competitors looking to disrupt our operations, or opponents who collude with officials on secret 'stings' meant to entrap drivers."

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Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump administration to eliminate nuclear waivers tied to Iran deal

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The U.S. is ending waivers that had allowed foreign companies to work at Iran's civilian nuclear facilities, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: This will eliminate most elements of U.S. sanctions relief still in place two years after President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Pompeo said "continued nuclear escalation" made the move necessary, but critics warn it will encourage further Iranian enrichment.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs reporters on May 20. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) wrote in a CNN op-ed on Wednesday that he learned that the State Department is currently working to sell thousands of additional precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia.

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