Tesla sues ex-employee alleging data theft, leaks to media

Darnell Taylor
June 24, 2018

Martin Tripp of Sparks, Nevada, admitted to Tesla investigators that he wrote software that transferred several gigabytes of data outside the company, including dozens of photographs and a video, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday. Tesla needs to straighten their act up and quickly.

"Tesla stores have some of the highest foot traffic of any retail space in the country, so this presents a unique benefit that is demonstrated by the growing number of Tesla vehicle customers who are also purchasing energy products through our stores", said a company spokesperson, per The Verge. The suit also indicated that Tesla had only begun to know the extent of Tripp's illegal activities leaving room to stipulate that more details would be revealed.

This resulted in Tripp being reassigned to a new role in May of 2018, a move that the former employee reportedly expressed anger at.

Because of Tripp's conduct, lawyers said, Tesla had suffered "cruel and unjust hardship" and "lost business, lost profits and damage to its goodwill".

The Mr. Tripp in question is Martin Tripp-a former employee who the company has sued, alleging he sabotaged the company's IT systems to steal confidential information. Tripp's hacking of Tesla systems was seemingly created to export confidential information - not delay the manufacturing process or cause fires - and it appears that all of his actions were retaliation against Tesla for perceived mistreatment, rather than industrial espionage.

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In addition, Tesla claims that Tripp has written a computer code for the regular export of Tesla data to third parties. Tesla declined to comment on which solar facilities would be closed, how many employees would lose their jobs or what percentage of Tesla's solar workforce they represent.

Earlier, on Wednesday evening, Tesla told reporters (not including Ars) that it had received a phone call at the Gigafactory. The lawsuit alleged Tesla's board of directors breached its duties to shareholders by approving the merger.

The suit also alleges that Tripp took the untoward step because he sought retaliation for not being promoted due to performance issues.

Additionally, Tripp has been accused of making false statements to the media. It feels like I have no rights as a whistleblower... I didn't hack into (the) system. "I'm a scapegoat because I provided information that is absolutely true", he said. Musk called on workers to "be extremely vigilant" and said, "There are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die".

According to Reuters, the information comes from three internal company documents and statements from seven present and former Tesla employees.

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