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Former Uber CLO Salle Yoo Named in Reports of Tool Meant to Evade Foreign Authorities

[caption id="attachment_8506" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Salle Yoo. Photo credit: Jason Doiy/ The Recorder. [/caption] Former Uber Technologies Inc. chief legal officer Salle Yoo's name popped up in reports around several of the ride-hailing company's scandals in 2017, from the controversial 'Greyball' program to accusations of legal department missteps around the Uber v. Waymo battle. Now, just a few weeks into 2018, Yoo, who announced she was leaving the company in September of last year and has since departed, is being tied once again to Uber activity that may be less than savory. Bloomberg Businessweek reported Thursday that Yoo knew about an Uber tool that allowed the San Francisco-based company to remotely access company-owned devices to change passwords, lock data or shut them down in the case of a police raid. The tool, known internally as "Ripley," was used at least two dozen times, sources told Bloomberg. Its name reportedly comes from Sigourney Weaver's "Alien" character who famously says in the film: “Nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.” These sources claim Ripley was used to prevent local authorities in countries outside the United States from accessing information that could be used against Uber in court. In some of these cases, the Bloomberg article said, police had secured warrants to search Uber's databases. Yoo reportedly told staff to install encryption services and to log off computers after 60 seconds of inactivity following police raids in Brussels and Paris in early 2015. Bloomberg wrote that Yoo also proposed testing an app that would counter such raids. According to Bloomberg, Uber's IT department was reportedly then asked to devise a system that would keep any intruders out of devices in the company's offices abroad. Ripley is claimed to have been used in police raids in a number of countries since then, as recently as 2016. "Like every company with offices around the world, we have security procedures in place to protect corporate and customer data," an Uber representative said in an emailed statement Thursday evening. "For instance, if an employee loses their laptop, we have the ability to remotely log them out of Uber’s systems to prevent someone else from accessing private user data through that laptop. When it comes to government investigations, it's our policy to cooperate with all valid searches and requests for data." Yoo spent more than five years with Uber as GC and then as chief legal officer. She was succeeded by Tony West, a former general counsel of PepsiCo Inc. It's still unclear where Yoo will land next.