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Richard Vogel / AP

From 2014-2016, Uber reportedly had a secret program, named "Hell," to spoof Lyft accounts and track its main U.S. competitor's drivers, according to The Information.

How it worked: In addition to using fake passenger accounts to see driver locations, Uber noticed that it could track each driver's habits, and even figure out which ones were driving for both services by matching their locations. Uber then targeted these dual drivers with additional promotions to get them to shift more time to Uber, and routed rides to keep them busy and not picking up Lyft passengers.

The repercussions: If true, Uber's tactics could have legal consequences. For one, they would be violating Lyft's terms of service, which prohibit impersonating people or entities. They could also constitute fraud, misappropriate of trade secrets, and violations ofthe federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, according to the report.

Deja vu: Uber recently made headlines when it was discovered it used software to evade local law enforcement. It has since discontinued the practice.

Go deeper

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.

36 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

36 mins ago - World

Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Burhan. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.