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?

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Comments on “Is Anyone Safe From HP's Spies?”

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Brad Eleven (profile) says:



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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Back to the kitchen! says:

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.

Matt Bennett says:

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.

caldwell says:

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 ?? (;-)

angie overby says:

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.

Adam says:

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.

Vasco DaGameboy says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Murdock says:

Re: 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.

Nick says:

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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