In a statement released today, Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman confirmed the Department of Justice’s investigation into Uber‘s use of a program called Greyball to bypass law enforcement in Portland, and announced its own efforts to further explore the technology.
“We support the criminal investigation by the United States Department of Justice into Uber’s use of the Greyball tool to evade regulators, and will continue to move forward with our own efforts to subpoena the requested records from Uber. My colleagues on the City Council have formally signed on to a resolution to subpoena Uber and force the company to turn over the Greyball playbook and associated software.”
Greyball, first publicly described in a New York Times story, is software that allows Uber to suss out relevant law enforcement and serve them a fake version of the app (essentially preventing them from carrying out a sting operation). In addition to Portland, the DOJ is extending its research into Uber’s use of Greyball in Philadelphia, according to news station WHYY.