HP's Dunn Still Trying To Place The Blame Elsewhere

from the responsibility? dept

While everyone still waits for the outcome of HP’s board meetings on the fate of Chairwoman Patricia Dunn concerning her authorization to spy on other board members using questionable and most likely illegal means, Dunn continues in her effort to pass the blame onto others. At the end of last week, she tried to pretend she didn’t really know about how the investigators found out the info and that the use of pretexting was embarrassing. Of course, if that was the case, then she would have said it was a problem four months ago when board member Tom Perkins pointed out how unethical it was. Instead, she found it more important to attack another board member, who had leaked some fairly inconsequential stuff to the press. The latest is that Dunn is now fighting back by attacking Perkins, and making it sound like he was the problem. She claimed that he originally “advocated even more aggressive means.” What were those means? She claims he brought up using a lie detector test. Of course, there’s a big difference here. You don’t administer a polygraph on someone without them knowing — and if they voluntarily agree, there’s nothing illegal about that. Identity theft to obtain phone records of people seems a lot worse than asking people to take a lie detector test. In fact, it’s quite likely that if the board had really brought up the lie detector test, George Keyworth would have just admitted to being the leaker. In the above link, Matt Marshall’s analysis at Venturebeat is worth reading as well. He notes that, beyond yet another attempt at passing the buck, Dunn chooses her words very carefully in attacking Perkins. Besides, this is yet another attempt at deflecting blame. No matter what Perkins advocated, the method Dunn used was most likely illegal. To claim someone else wanted to be “more aggressive” (even if it wasn’t) doesn’t absolve her from moving forward with the plan to spy on board members.

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Comments on “HP's Dunn Still Trying To Place The Blame Elsewhere”

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Tek'a says:

but anyhow..

isnt that against the law? if I hire someone to tap records, records I know cant be accessed legally by me and without the involved party knowing or consenting, isnt that breaking the law?

and in case some big coprorate folks like Dunn are reading.. the Law is that thing to protect peoples rights? its tied into those copyright lawsuits over Ink formulation? kinda a mixed bag situation, but you have to accept the whole thing. rules, ya know.

anywho.. ok.. paying someone to break a law.. is also illegal.. right? even if they are “private investigators”.

Colg says:

Pretexting is not against the law in the US. It should be but it isn’t.

Using a private investigator is also not against the law even if that investigator uses Illegal means to acquire information. Assuming of course you have no knowledge of the illegal activity before hand.

The directors were questioned about the leaks to no avail before they were investigated. The idea that George would have just come clean if a lie detector was mentioned is absurd.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Pretexting is not against the law in the US. It should be but it isn’t.

That is not at all clear at this point. It almost certainly is illegal in California, where it occurred. Depending on the details it may also have been illegal under federal law — but that’s a much more grey area.

The directors were questioned about the leaks to no avail before they were investigated.

That does not appear to be true from what anyone has said so far. Do you have a source on that?

The idea that George would have just come clean if a lie detector was mentioned is absurd.

Why is it absurd? I think it could make sense that he would have confessed when he realized how far Dunn was willing to go to have the person outed — especially since it would look even worse if he actually failed the test, rather than ‘fess up. I think, given the circumstances, if the board were told that everyone would undergo a lie detector test, he likely would have admitted it.

Of course, even if he didn’t, it’s hard to see how that’s “more aggressive” that using identity theft to get copies of your private phone records.

Rabid Wolverine says:

Done Dunn, Dumb...

Just another example of ‘paranoid’ people at the top.

Harry Truman used to say ‘the buck stops here’. Like him or not he took responsibility not only for his own actions but also for those who served under him.

Gee, what an interesting concept, being responsible.

Do they still teach that in Business School to all ya’ll MBA’s out there? Or do they teach you to run and hide behind others and blame someone else?

Bunch of damned cowards, that what you all are…
Bet you wouldn’t have had the guts to take on terrorist like those brave, heroic folks did over Pennsylvania.

Come on, “Let’s roll…”

oust da byatch says:

Yeah, I think in this case it is

Here is an official .gov URL that pretty much explains that it is against the law:


Although there are statements that mention financial accounts specifically, there is also a catch all clause as well where this act would fall under:

ask another person to get someone else’s customer information using false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or using false, fictitious or fraudulent documents or forged, counterfeit, lost, or stolen documents.

so yeah, not only is it unethical, but yes, it is against the law. If it weren’t you wouldn’t have such a blame game circus going on at HP.

eb says:

I Still Want Ms Dunn to explain

how she expected anyone to obtain the information she wanted in an ethical/legal manner. Spare me the argument that the leaking director acted unethically–he did, but that’s not the issue here. In California there is no way to obtain the information she wanted legally (under state laws), but she wanted it anyway.

Actually, she might not be around to see the end of the mess she created–I read somewhere that she’s been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer.

Lay Person says:

Gee, which is more important?

Gee, which is more important?

A. Boardroom leaks.

B. Questionable methods of determining those leaks.

C. All the above.

As far as I see it, boardroom leaks are suicide for any large, public, corporation.

First, stop the leak at all cost!

Second, investigate illegal practices within the boardroom. Even if it means replacing the board from the ground–up.

Third, put policies and procdures in place to prevent either from occuring again.

ChronoFish says:

Kinda like the Federal Gov

I find it interesting that similiar arguments are being used by both sides to justify their actions at HP as has been done in the Federal/NSA Wiretap.

Yes we all know that the Feds have a double-standard that they are not afraid to exploit.

But I do find it interesting that you have people pissed off at those who bring shady practices to the forefront and adminstrations who try to focus the attention on the leaker rather than accept responsibility for breaking the law.

Almost a “My breaking the law should be ignored because it came to light by someone else who broke the law”.

The law is the law is the law. Just because you were wronged doesn’t mean your wrongs are right.


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