Electric car maker Tesla today sent out an email to its employees which stated that leaking information about the company to the press can lead to firing, felony charges, and lawsuits, according to a report. The email was sent by Tesla’s security team and contained the recent actions that the company has taken against employees who had leaked information about it.
The report, which was first published by CNBC, said that the email spoke about an employee who “exfiltrated confidential business information from the Tesla domain to his personal account and threatened to disclose confidential company information.” The electric car maker has filed felony charges against this employee. The email also spoke about two lawsuits against former employees over “stealing proprietary information and trade secrets” and intellectual property.
We should mention that this is the latest moves in Silicon Valley to keep employees from leaking out information to the press. And ironically, this was leaked out too. To recall, technology giant Google had also leaked out a similar email in 2016 which stated how the company finds out which employees are leaking out information. This was followed by an email from Cupertino-based technology giant Apple that was sent to its employees in 2018. The email spoke about how Apple had got 12 of its employees arrested for leaking out information to the press about its future plans.
In 2018, a report in Buzzfeed carried an internal memo from a Facebook executive which said that the company severely reprimands leakers on its internal forums: “How fucking terrible that some irresponsible jerk decided he or she had some god complex that jeopardizes our inner culture and something that makes Facebook great?”
Secrecy is a very important factor in the Silicon Valley culture and according to The Guardian, companies at times leave mouse traps to see if the employees would behave. Mouse traps are basically USB sticks that are supposed to have sensitive data are left behind. But then, at times, this is fake just to get hold of the employees who are leaking information to the press.
Considering that a lot has been going on at Tesla off late, this email does not come as a surprise as the company would do what is required to make sure its information is safeguarded.
But Tesla controversies are somehow incomplete without Twitter. Today’s email also pointed out that an employee was fired, “for sharing confidential business information on Twitter, including production numbers, with journalists.”