Tesla Sues Ex-Employee Who Allegedly Stole Gigs of Data

Martin Tripp is accused of stealing gigabytes of data and allegedly lying to the media
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2018 6:00 PM CDT
Tesla Slaps Ex-Employee With Suit Over Alleged Data Theft
The sun shines off the rear deck of a roadster on a Tesla dealer's lot   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Tesla has filed a lawsuit against a former employee whom the company has accused of stealing "gigabytes" of confidential data and allegedly hacking into the computers of its Nevada battery factory. According to Bloomberg, the suit identifies Martin Tripp of Sparks as the employee, who reportedly admitted to investigators that he wrote software that he used to lift photos, video and other data. The software was found on computers used by three other employees so that data would continue to be skimmed even after Tripp left the company and so that those employees might be blamed, suit claims. The suit claims Tripp wanted to steal the information as part of a retaliation against Tesla after he was reassigned.

In the suit, Tesla claims the stolen data was used along with false information about the company that Tripp allegedly fed to the media as part of his retaliation plan. Tesla claims to have lost profits as a direct result of the alleged actions. Tripp has not commented publicly on the accusations. However, CEO Elon Musk appeared to address them Sunday in an email to employees obtained by CNBC that alleged an employee "saboteur" had been in their midst. "The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted to so far is pretty bad," Musk wrote. "His stated motivation is that he wanted a promotion that he did not receive. In light of these actions, not promoting him was definitely the right move." (More Elon Musk stories.)

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