Previous Uber chief security official Joe Sullivan was kept away from jail Thursday as he was condemned for concealing the 2016 robbery of organization information on 50 million Uber clients while the organization was being researched by the Government Exchange Commission over a past break.
In October, Sullivan was found guilty of obstructing justice and concealing a felony. This made him the first corporate executive to have outsiders find him guilty of crimes connected to a data breach.
Uber Security Chief into a lawsuit
Sullivan received a three-year probation sentence from U.S. District Judge William Orrick in recognition of his significant prior work in preventing the kind of crime he later concealed. Additionally, he stated that Sullivan’s actions had prevented the theft of the data.
Orrick said he felt previous Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was similarly liable for what he thought about a serious offense, and he pondered out loud why Kalanick had not been charged. The judge also stated that the unusual nature of the case had influenced him, and he warned that future offenders would be imprisoned, even if they were the pope.
Sullivan’s conviction had stunned numerous security experts, a significant number of whom saw Sullivan, a one-time government cybercrime examiner, as an industry chief who likewise worked in the public interest as the top security leader at Facebook, Uber, and Cloudflare.
More than 180 letters were sent to the judge praising Sullivan and requesting that he not be imprisoned so that he could continue to assist victims of security breaches and defenders. One of the letters was endorsed by 40 current or previous boss security or boss data security officials.
In their own memo, Sullivan’s lawyers cited the letters and talked about a lot of good things he did, like starting a trust and safety team at eBay and working on a Facebook child safety initiative that his successor Alex Stamos said got three-quarters of all notifications to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2021.