Tesla sues ex-engineer for allegedly stealing supercomputer secrets

Tesla is suing former engineer Alexander Yatskov for allegedly stealing “confidential and strictly protected” information related to the company’s supercomputer technology, called Project Dojo, it was first reported. Bloomberg. in a copy of the complaintTesla accuses Yatskov of downloading the information to his personal devices and refusing to return it.

Yatskov, who Tesla says lied on his resume about his job history and skills, started working for the electric vehicle maker as a thermal engineer in January and helped design Dojo’s cooling systems. Dojo is Tesla’s neural network training computer that processes vast amounts of data used to train the AI ​​software in Tesla’s self-driving cars. According to the complaint, Yatskov had access to Dojo’s cooling information, as well as other sensitive information associated with the project.

Tesla says all engineers sign a nondisclosure agreement that should prevent them from disclosing or storing sensitive information about Dojo, which Tesla says Yatskov has violated by allegedly “removing sensitive Tesla information from devices and work accounts, accessing it in their own personal devices, and creating Tesla documents containing sensitive Project Dojo details on a personal computer.” The company also says it discovered that Yatskov was sending emails with classified Tesla information from his personal email address to his email address. of work.

As noted in the complaint, Tesla claims that Yatskov admitted to storing classified information on his personal devices when the company confronted him about the situation. The electric vehicle maker then placed Yatskov on administrative leave starting April 6, 2022, and asked him to bring the devices from him so that Tesla could retrieve any stolen data. Yatskov allegedly responded by providing Tesla with a “dummy” laptop in an attempt to hide any evidence against him. This alleged decoy contained none of the information in question, and was made to “look like he may have only accessed harmless information from Tesla, such as an offer letter.”

Yatskov resigned from his post on May 2. Tesla is suing Yatskov for exemplary and compensatory damages, and is also seeking an injunction compelling Yatskov to return the classified information.

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