Uber's Ripley Program and Protocol

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Kyle_Bennett, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

    May 18, 1997
    Uber is serious about "security" in it offices....when it comes to evidence....and hiding that from the police...that show up with search warrants. This all sounds fully above board and has nothing to do with obstructing justice.

    Check out the video.

    From spring 2015 until late 2016, Uber routinely used Ripley to thwart police raids in foreign countries, say three people with knowledge of the system. Allusions to its nature can be found in a smattering of court filings, but its details, scope, and origin haven’t been previously reported.

    The Uber HQ team overseeing Ripley could remotely change passwords and otherwise lock up data on company-owned smartphones, laptops, and desktops as well as shut down the devices. This routine was initially called the unexpected visitor protocol. Employees aware of its existence eventually took to calling it Ripley, after Sigourney Weaver’s flamethrower-wielding hero in the Alien movies. The nickname was inspired by a Ripley line in Aliens, after the acid-blooded extraterrestrials easily best a squad of ground troops. “Nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”
  2. MavericK

    MavericK Zero Cool

    Sep 2, 2004
    Uh...isn't this just mobile device management and security? I would imagine most enterprise-level companies have this capability.

    Of course it could be abused but I doubt this is unique to Uber.
  3. PantherBlitz

    PantherBlitz Limp Gawd

    Apr 14, 2011
    Everyone should have this capability, but anyone who activates it when the police are in the lobby is probably setting themselves up for an obstruction charge.
  4. Design1stcode2nd

    Design1stcode2nd Gawd

    Aug 17, 2016
    Silly Police you are supposed to cut the hard line first.
    lostin3d likes this.
  5. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

    Oct 14, 2004
    technically "police in foreign countries" usually doesn't equate to justice.
    John721 and thebufenator like this.
  6. Flatrock19

    Flatrock19 n00bie

    Jun 6, 2017
    Lying to the police is obstruction. Destroying evidence is obstruction. Refusing to cooperate with a search until given the opportunity to challenge the legality and constitutionality of the search is due process. It only becomes obstruction if they lose the appeals and continue to refuse to cooperate after being compelled to do so.

    Asserting your rights and taking steps to ensure they are protected can make it appear like you have something to hid. Quite possibly because you do have something to hide, but it isn't obstruction in itself.
  7. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

    Jan 4, 2016
    Jezuz, WTF is Uber?, are we sure it is just an app to pay someone for a ride?
  8. nysmo

    nysmo Gawd

    Jan 7, 2016
    Considering the only reason these agencies fuck with uber is due to secret under the table handshaking arrangements from big taxi I say fuck em. Quit harassing uber to protect your garbage taxi services.
    thebufenator likes this.
  9. Riccochet

    Riccochet Off Topic Award

    Apr 11, 2007
    It's not "evidence" if the authorities don't secure it first to use it against you.

    thebufenator likes this.
  10. GlowingGhoul

    GlowingGhoul Whines about Whiners

    Jun 13, 2013
    "My server was wiped? You mean like with a rag?" - Hillary Clinton
  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Jan 14, 2007
    Don't forget a lot of this is in foreign countries so "your rights" as an American don't exactly transfer, for instance other countries might not see a corporation as an individual with rights like our country does.
  12. Mohonri

    Mohonri [H]ardness Supreme

    Jul 29, 2005
    Let's be clear what's happening here. Uber isn't destroying evidence, wiping servers, deleting emails, etc. This system simply remotely locks phones, logs out users, changes passwords, and otherwise makes data inaccessible.

    If law enforcement wants the data, there's a legal way to get it: a subpoena. A subpoena can be challenged, get due process, etc. The target of a subpoena can make sure that only pertinent information is passed on to the authorities. On the other hand, when the police are on your doorstep with a warrant, you can't go back to a judge and challenge it before the police allowed to execute it. Law enforcement agencies like to use search warrants when they want data, because not only is it (potentially) easier to get the information they want, it's also useful for turning up other information that can be used against you, i.e. it's a fishing expedition. IMO, Uber's Ripley protocol is simply restoring the status quo.
    IdiotInCharge likes this.
  13. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

    Mar 31, 2003
    Quite a few of us here have similar "protocols" and although many people might consider it unnecessary or paranoid, I think it's really a requirement in today's climate. As other people have mentioned, this isn't just about doing it in the U.S. (where while personally I generally trust law enforcement there is definitely a limit to that trust that ends with my data) but on foreign soil where it's all but guaranteed you're not seen on friendly terms given the EU's predilection for going after American companies.