GitHub ordered to hand over access logs to Uber

Code repository biz successfuly subpoenaed in hacker track


GitHub has been ordered to hand over records on some of its users to taxi-booking app Uber after unsuccessfully challenging a subpoena.

Last month, Uber announced its driver database had been hacked in May 2014, but it had only noticed in September of that year. Uber discovered that a supposedly secret database access key had somehow ended up in a couple of Gists in a public area of GitHub. It's alleged this key was spotted by miscreants who used the key to delve into Uber's internal database of driver names and license plates.

Uber asked GitHub to hand over the web access logs for the two Gist pages for the May-September period.

GitHub refused, and so on 27 February this year, Uber created a John Doe lawsuit in order to subpoena GitHub to hand over the logs. Earlier this month, GitHub challenged the subpoena in a San Francisco court but lost, with the judge late last week giving GitHub 30 days to comply.

Uber argued during the hearing that the two Gist posts (both of which have been offline since the lawsuit was filed) should have had very little traffic, and the data on who visited them "should generally reveal people, who were affiliated with Uber and who worked on the Uber code near the time of the unauthorized download."

The judge also found that Uber had "shown that its need for early discovery outweighs the prejudice to GitHub, as GitHub is an established provider who routinely deals with discovery requests and would suffer little burden from producing the requested information."

In other words: hand it over, GitHub.

We asked GitHub and Uber to comment on the case; both companies are based around the corner from our office in San Francisco. GitHub told us: "We don't have any additional info to share." Uber's lawyer has yet to return our call or email. ®

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