Is Anyone Safe From HP's Spies?

from the just-wondering dept

As HP brings on new lawyers to deal with the expected indictments concerning the HP board spying scandal, it's now coming out that the spying went even further than the board and a whole bunch of reporters. Turns out that at least two employees had their phone records obtained via "pretexting" (which used to be called identity theft). It's also worth noting that Patricia Dunn (who has been choosing her words carefully) says that the spying included "a number of individuals outside the company, including journalists." This would at least suggest that some of the people outside of the company were not journalists -- though no such people have been identified yet. Anyone made up "HP spied on my phone records" t-shirts yet?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Jon Cloud, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 4:51am

    T-Shirts

    Didn't HP have a company phone directory? Why the deceptive methods? Whats wrong with a phone book?

     

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  2.  
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    Jack Sombra, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 4:59am

    Did they not identify one?

    "would at least suggest that some of the people outside of the company were not journalists -- though no such people have been identified yet"
    Remember an article somewhere (. ?) that the father of one of the journalists was also targeted

     

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  3.  
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    Scott, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 5:56am

    QUIT IT!!

    DAMN!! Why would HP want to spy on anyone not in the company? Quit spreading FUD, and post some real fucking news!!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 6:11am

    Re: QUIT IT!!

    "Why would HP want to spy on anyone not in the company?"

    I dunno, maybe because they were involved with spreading or publishing leaked information...What are you anyway, some kind of HP fanboy?

     

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  5.  
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    ebrke, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 6:19am

    Re: QUIT IT!!

    Not FUD--HP has admitted it obtained telephone records of NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and CNET reporters, as well as records of some of their family members. You're a little out-of-touch with reality.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 6:22am

    Uh, Scott, you need to settle down. First of all, as the slogan states above, this is "news you could do without." This site is not a primary news source. It's more or less a commentary of existing news. If you don't like it, you don't have a to read it. Sheesh.

    As for the topic at hand, I do consider it newsworthy. HP needs to learn that they are not above the law. They can't just tap into people's private lives without consent and expect to get away with it without so much as a slap on the wrist. In my opinion, Ms. Dunn should have been fired on the spot. Whether or not she was acting on her own or under orders from somebody else is beside the point. She broke both ethical and state (or is it federal?) laws, and that requires a punishment of some sort. I don't know about you, but I would be absolutely furious if I found out somebody was pawing through any of my personal records for any reason at all.

     

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  7.  
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    Common Cents, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 6:37am

    You want news...
    HP = Corporate Espionage
    News doesn't exist anymore... it's just another way to advertise something now days.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Lee, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 7:22am

    The Law

    Patricia Dunn should be tried and sent to jail for breaking the law. She is no better than anyone else.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Brad Eleven, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 7:27am

    Re: QUIT IT!!

    Scott:

    Try switching to decaf.

    The point is voluntary disclosure of the spying having gone further than HP's board, further than HP spying on its own employees, and apparently even further than the reporters to whom information was leaked.

    It's just too similar to the NSA program: the intended targets are just the first wave. Then they look at who the targets called, then who they called... it's a geometric progression.

    Granted, HP doesn't have equipment at the phone switches, but they pursued the same ends: Spy on everyone you suspect, then spy on their associates, then spy on ...

    It's not FUD until you take it that way. Before IBM woke up, I worked for a firm which was 70% Sun, 20% HP, and 10% IBM. The IBM salespeople showered us with FUD. We ignored it, and eventually got rid of their equipment.

     

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  10.  
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    Back to the kitchen!, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 7:39am

    Hey HP! Hire a MAN!

    So HP shows how fashionable and forward thinking it is by putting Carly Fiorina in charge and sits on its hands as she proceeds to destroy the company on her way to becoming one of the worst CEOs ever, keeping the company of John Sculley and John Akers. Then they show how they remain fashionable by putting Patricia Dunn in place, who proceeds to use Scientology-like tactics to dig into her employees private lives.

    HP, it's time to put a man in charge.

     

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  11.  
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    Michael, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 7:44am

    Eleventh post!

     

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  12.  
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    Matt Bennett, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 7:46am

    I want to get rid of this word "pretexting." It takes a fairly straight-forward lying/fraud situation and tries to make it sound techinical, trendy,and not fraud. Well it is fraud, not any of those other things, and it's fairly old fashion style fraud to boot. I don't see anything wrong with just calling it fraud, or sure, identity-theft.

     

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  13.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:04am

    Pretexting my ass!!

    Why is it that when some is caught on some charges they try to remane it so it doesn't sound so bad? She didn't impersonate those people she pretexted them? Kinda like American troops are in the Middle East for the sole purpose of keeping the peace.

     

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  14.  
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    caldwell, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:06am

    Sounds Reasonable (?)

    HP had a clear 'reason' to spy on personal communications -- therefore, by definition, such spying was 'reasonable'.

    That is precisely the justification now used by the Federal Government in all of its NSA spying & warrantless-search activities.

    Doesn't HP have the right to 'Self-Defense' ?


    What's the problem ?? (;-)

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:26am

    God, you nutter.

    Are you basing this on the idea that anything it's ok for the government to do, it's ok for a non-elected corporation to do?

    Or are you just seizing upon a very loosley similar subject to make a random political snipe?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    angie overby, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:33am

    I am embarrassed

    I joined HP back in 1993 when it was still Bill & Dave’s company. It was a place of openness, honesty, integrity, respect for individuals and empowerment.

    I left HP during the Carly years after being there for a long time as I saw the new regime with Carly was crushing all the life out of it's employees. The merger with Compaq finished it off for me as the authoritarian style of management from Compaq literally squished the empowering style of HP.

    My hopes began to grow with the new CEO, Mark Hurd, that HP was coming back to it's roots and I still believe it is.

    The board is a left-over from the "old days" of Carly and in my opinion needs to go for the most part and elect ones that are more in alignment with the corporate values.

    I am embarrassed that this is happening to HP as I hold some of my fondness memories while I was there.

    In the long run, it's a good thing that this happened, it's time to clean house.

     

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  17.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:34am

    I'm just waiting...

    for someone to say, "If they haven't done anything wrong then they should have nothing to hide."

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    ZEBO, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:34am

    I refuse to be sucked into your hypnotheoretical arguments.
    --George w. Bush

    Indianapolis, IN
    10/15/2004

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Mike C., Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:36am

    Re: Humor check

    I'm guessing you're comment is in reply to "Sounds Reasonable (?)". Perhaps you didn't see the (;-) at the end.

    You might want to check your humor filter.... I think it's broken.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Adam, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:42am

    Dude it's an HP

    Well as long as all this pretexting / posttexing carppy ethical practices doesn't affect their PC lineup, I'm happy.

    (Just bought a new HP laptop recently, still far better bang for your buck over it's top competitors).

    Anyone remember years back when Patricia Dunn was being hailed as the savior for HP when she was brought in to replace Carly Fiorina? Funny how times have changed.

     

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  21.  
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    RJ, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:45am

    crap

    this is just a bunch of crap. HP does nothing wrong.. It's just another company trying to stay sane in this insane world..

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    ZEBO, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:46am

    I saw it. I just tried to add some more humor.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Vasco DaGameboy, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:52am

    The difference is..

    that HP is not the government and its authority does not reach into the area of the law. Whether you agree or disagree with the NSA spying, the federal government is arguing that the President had that authority under current law. In other words, they are saying they were within the law. Time may prove that to be false, but it's still open for debate.

    HP clearly broke the law. No one is credibly arguing that HP was OK to do what it did. Dunn has destroyed the company's reputation and put a big black mark on a corporation that was truly making great strides in its PC line, recouping significant market share from its rivals.

    The President has legal authority that a CEO just doesn't have. He may have broken the law, but at least he was trying to protect the nation. Dunn was just trying stop a few leaks.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    charlie potatoes, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 8:53am

    Random political snipe?

    Dubya is the only random political snipe I know.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Murdock, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 9:18am

    Heres your T-Shirts

    Someone had to do it right?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Murdock, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 9:19am

    Re: Heres your T-Shirts

     

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  27.  
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    Grandfather Time, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 9:35am

    pretexting,....you know its a crime when they have to invent a word for it, in order to justify it.......

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 9:44am

    Re: The Law

    She is no better than anyone else.
    Why not? If corporations are superior to common citizens, aren't their leaders also?

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 9:58am

    OK, how come none of the focus is on the people who actually sold them the information. Why are they allowed to not verify the person who is requesting the information is who they say they are?

    Can someone call up my bank and gain access to my account? Why is someone allowed to call up my phone provider and get information? Thats the fucking story.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Nick, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:00am

    RE: the difference is.

    Vasco DaGameboy

    He was comparing was comparing the the moral justification rather than the legal one...

    I am sure he is aware there is a difference legally between the two.

    The fact that the government is held to a lower moral standard than private corporations is disturbing to me because the moral definition of the government is the standard by which the legal definition is defined.

    Before anyone gets up-in-arms...there is a difference between religious moral standard and a moral standard based on reason.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Murdock, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:17am

    Re:

    "OK, how come none of the focus is on the people who actually sold them the information. Why are they allowed to not verify the person who is requesting the information is who they say they are?"

    Um, did you read the story? The person who called to gather the information posed as the account owner and had the account owner's information (SS#, etc) There was no selling of information involved, they simply gave the information to whom they believed to be the account owner.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Nismoto, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 10:50am

    My d@mn shirt!

    I'm glad this went down cuz now my shirt makes more sense.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:40pm

    Re: T-Shirts

    ummm... riiight. cause phone records are kept in the Phone Directory... ahem.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Hey HP! Hire a MAN!

    yeah, cause men aren't corrupt (e.g. Enron) or anything. yeah, it's cause their women!

    stupid girls suck!

    I'm telling my mom you're mean.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 1:49pm

    Re: crap

    he forgot to take his meds.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Mila, Sep 14th, 2006 @ 2:33pm

    Maybe these companies just aren't thinking about the consequences privacy breaches will bring... because most others have gotten off with a slap on the wrist (think about all the laptop thefts, for example, that have happened in recent months... and nobody's getting punished for leaving them unprotected).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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