Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

UPS aims to solve mystery surrounding its business plans

By: JEFF MARTIN, Associated Press
October 6, 2017 Updated: October 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm
0
photo - In this Tuesday, April 18, 2017 photo, a United Parcel Service cargo plane sits idle during the day as it awaits loading at Richmond International Airport in Sandston, Va..  UPS says in court records that it suspects one of its pilots obtained secret business plans for the shipping giant's aircraft fleet and posted them online. In a federal lawsuit filed the  week of Oct. 6, 2017, UPS says its strategic plans are highly confidential, and says a PowerPoint presentation was intended only for senior executives.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
In this Tuesday, April 18, 2017 photo, a United Parcel Service cargo plane sits idle during the day as it awaits loading at Richmond International Airport in Sandston, Va.. UPS says in court records that it suspects one of its pilots obtained secret business plans for the shipping giant's aircraft fleet and posted them online. In a federal lawsuit filed the week of Oct. 6, 2017, UPS says its strategic plans are highly confidential, and says a PowerPoint presentation was intended only for senior executives.(AP Photo/Steve Helber) 

ATLANTA (AP) — UPS suspects that one of its employees obtained secret business plans for its aircraft fleet and then posted them online, the shipping giant said in court records.

In a federal lawsuit filed this week, UPS said its strategic plans are highly confidential, and that a PowerPoint presentation containing the trade secrets was created and intended only for senior executives.

"At some point, an unknown UPS pilot wrongfully obtained a copy of the PowerPoint," UPS states in its lawsuit. Then, in late September, "the unknown UPS pilot posted statements on an online discussion forum about UPS' confidential strategic plans regarding its aircraft."

Now, the company is taking steps to identify whoever was responsible for posting the strategic plans on an internet message board frequented by pilots.

A judge this week gave the company permission to subpoena records from Yahoo Holdings Inc. for emails from a specific Yahoo.com email address. It's requesting all emails sent to and from the address since Aug. 31.

UPS also plans to subpoena records from the Louisville, Kentucky-based Independent Pilots Association in order to get names, IP addresses and other information about people who made comments about the plans on the union's internet forum. It's also seeking information to identify anyone who clicked on a link to view the information.

A spokesman for the pilots association said it will resist UPS' effort to get information about its members.

"We have no reason to believe that any UPS union pilot was involved in the theft," Brian Gaudet, a spokesman for the Independent Pilots Association, said in an email Friday.

The lawsuit blames "an unknown UPS pilot" for taking the information, but UPS spokesman Steve Gaut said Friday it doesn't know for certain who is responsible. The company presumes he or she was a pilot because pilots frequent the online forums where the information was posted, he said.

Separately, the company is also seeking information about people who posted on another internet site, airlinepilotcentral.com , with the user names "Commando," ''UPSet," and "nightrider," court records state.

The company filed the lawsuit in order to find out who obtained the plans and posted them online, Gaut said.

"We know for certain that the presentation in question was inappropriately removed from the company," Gaut said. "And we know the information was inappropriately displayed in public internet forums."

No criminal charges have been filed in connection to the case, and Gaut said the company is still trying to gather information before deciding its next steps.

"It could very well lead to criminal charges," he said. "At this point it depends on what we find out."

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.