The ousted founder of Facebook’s virtual-reality unit Oculus is paying a bounty to anyone who can hack his former employer’s new virtual-reality headset
Palmer Luckey, the Oculus VR cofounder who was ousted from Facebook amid controversy after selling his company to the tech giant for $2 billion, is offering a $5,000 bounty to anyone who can hack Oculus’ new Quest 2 virtual-reality headset.
“I’m still offering $5000 for a Quest 2 jailbreak! Jailbreakers, dm me. Let’s break free of FB’s anti-competitive, anti-privacy ecosystem!” Mozilla VR engineer Robert Long tweeted Friday.
“I will match this, who else is in?” Luckey replied.
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
After selling Oculus to Facebook in 2014, Luckey gained notoriety in 2016 following The Daily Beast’s report that he had donated to a controversial pro-Trump group called Nimble America that had reportedly ran misogynistic and white-supremacist political ads during that year’s presidential election.
Luckey was eventually ousted from Facebook in 2017, which The Wall Street Journal reported was due to his association with Nimble America. CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified to Congress in 2018 that Luckey’s firing wasn’t due “to a political view.”
His termination also came shortly after a judge handed down a verdict in a lawsuit brought against Oculus by VR startup Zenimax, which had accused Oculus and Luckey of stealing its intellectual property. The court ruled for Oculus on those accusations, but the jury’s ruling that Oculus violated nondisclosure agreements ultimately cost Facebook $250 million.
Luckey, a longtime Trump supporter who is hosting a fundraiser for the president this weekend, has since founded Andruil, a $2 billion defense tech company that recently won a contract from the Trump administration to build a virtual border “wall” on the US-Mexico border.
Palmer Luckey, who sold Oculus to Facebook for $2 billion, is offering $5,000 to anyone who can crack the security on the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.
Ted Cruz Asked Mark Zuckerberg About Palmer Luckey. Here’s Who He Is
D uring Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate testimony Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas asked Zuckerberg about Palmer Luckey, a controversial former Facebook employee.
Here’s a transcript of the exchange:
Ted Cruz: “As CEO, have you ever made hiring or firing decisions based on political positions or what candidates [employees] supported?”
Mark Zuckerberg: “No.”
Cruz: “Why was Palmer Luckey fired?”
Zuckerberg: “That is a specific personnel matter that seems like it would be inappropriate to speak to here.”
Cruz: “You just made a specific representation that you didn’t make decisions based on political views. Is that accurate?”
Zuckerberg: “I can commit that it was not because of a political view.”
Who is Palmer Luckey?
Luckey, 25, was the founder of Oculus VR, a virtual reality company best known for its Oculus Rift headsets. Luckey became a Facebook employee in 2014 when Facebook acquired Oculus VR in a $3 billion deal.
However, Luckey and Facebook parted ways last year after it was revealed that he was quietly funding efforts attacking Hillary Clinton and supporting Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Luckey was also reportedly posting anti-Clinton messages on the social media site Reddit under a pseudonym.
Neither Luckey nor Facebook publicly gave a reason for Luckey’s departure. Facebook has continued to develop Oculus VR’s technology as part of its virtual reality initiatives.
Cruz, a staunch conservative, brought up Palmer Luckey while questioning Zuckerberg about Facebook’s political views. Facebook considers itself politically neutral and works with politicians on both sides of the aisle.
But the company has been criticized by conservatives for a perceived bias, particularly after it appeared to be suppressing right-leaning news outlets from its “Trending” section. That was among several political controversies that has engulfed Facebook over the past few months and years, including Russian electoral interference and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the latter of which landed Zuckerberg in the hot seat this week.
During Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before the Senate on Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas asked Zuckerberg about Palmer Luckey.