HP Board Spying Not Just Limited To HP Board Members

from the goner dept

The story of HP's Patricia Dunn spying on the company's own board members is only getting worse. Not only did Dunn have private investigators engage in fraud to get board members' phone records, but apparently they also monitored the phone records of the News.com reporter on the other end of the leaks. Any justification or legal standing for spying on the board certainly doesn't apply to spying on a reporter that is entitled to seek out and quote anonymous sources. If there's a clock ticking away the seconds until Patricia Dunn is forced out, it just started going a little faster.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 2:06pm


    maybe this will also stop hp from spying on all their customers as well.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 2:16pm

    Ancient Idea

    Privacy is such a 20th century concept ;-)

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

  3. identicon
    David, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 2:57pm

    In jail?

    Shouldn't she and the PI she hired you know... be in jail?

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

  4. identicon
    Beefcake, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 3:08pm

    Vocabulary Building

    "Pretexting"? Isn't that just another euphamism for "lying your ass off with intent to defraud"?

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 3:09pm

    But who's monitoring TechDirt?

    Where did all the comments go?

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

  6. identicon
    Greg Andrew, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 3:46pm

    I haven't seen any evidence that Ms. Dunn - or anyone else on the board - knew of the methods of investigation before the board got the results. And not only didn't Ms. Dunn hire the investigators herself, she's three steps removed from the investigation. She ordered HP's general counsel to investigate. Counsel hired a consulting firm. The consulting firm hired the investigators. So don't count on any of HP's board getting kicked out because of this unless there's evidence to directly tie them to endorsing illegal activities.

    The legality of pretexting when it is not used to steal something of monetary value is also quite unclear.

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

  7. identicon
    nonuser, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Greg

    Except that Dunn used the results of the investigation to attempt to force the resignation of Keyworth (the leaker) at a board meeting. It's not credible to suppose that she didn't demand a detailed briefing on the investigators' methods, in case Keyworth denied the findings.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:27pm

    Hey, if the government can do it, why cant our corporations? HP could argue (about as convincingly) that this leak constituted a grave threat against their rights, their love of freedom and liberty. Danger! Danger! Terrorists in the bushes. Yap, yap, yap. Oh my gosh, Islamic facism! Yap, yap, yap. Boo! Scared yet? Yap, yap, yap, yap, ya... zzzzzzzzzzzzz..... I am sooooo bored right now...

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

  9. identicon
    insaniac, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 5:56am


    you're weird

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

  10. identicon
    Jerry, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 7:37am

    Another spy method revealed

    OK. Now that we know how they did it, I'll buy a $40 prepaid cell phone before calling in my anonymous tip. Find that turkeys!

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

  11. identicon
    eb, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 8:10am


    Apparently it's not questionable to the attorney general of California, who thinks it's worth a look. And I would like to know how Ms. Dunn or the HP counsel thought they would obtain the desired information without obtaining access to people's private phone records, an ethically questionable and possibly (under California law) illegal activity.

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

  12. identicon
    Greg Andrew, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 9:29am

    nonuser - No one's claimed that she didn't know the methodology of the investigators after the investigation; the whole board knew. But a corporation isn't a court; they don't just ignore evidence because it's illegally obtained. And they received assurances from their lead outside counsel that the information was legally obtained. I suspect that outside attorney may get into some trouble here.

    There are similarities to the Pecorino case in Hollywood, and in that case, no one but the investigator himself has gotten in any trouble beyond embarrasment.

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

  13. identicon
    nonuser, Sep 9th, 2006 @ 6:32am


    Greg, the info didn't just fall into their laps like an anonymous hot tip. Dunn commissioned the investigation and was a very active client. When the results came, she used them to execute her plan. Ignorance of the law (or bad legal advice) is not a valid defense for criminal acts.

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

  14. identicon
    HPway, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 11:26pm

    HP Board lacks integrity

    The spying scandal is a sorry comedown for a company that HAD a reputation for excellence and integrity.

    The board's actions have been more of the CYA variety than of truthfulness.

    * WHAT PHONE RECORDS? The board played dumb when they realized that directors' phone records were used in the leak investigation. No one asked, "How did we get these records?"

    * BOARD MEMBER RESIGNED FOR "PERSONAL REASONS": Perkins resigned in May. HP resisted proper reporting to the SEC of the reasons for Perkins' resignation until the past few days.

    * STONEWALLING: Dunn and Hurd have made only weak apologies. Dunn has been far more strident about tracing the leaks from an individual than about the corporate breech of integrity in fraudulent investigations.

    * PROTECTING CRIMINALS: HP has refused to identify the private investigation firm or the third party investigators who are suspected of doing the pretexting.

    * WEAK APPEASEMENT: Recent announcement of Board changes are weak.
    1. Dunn remains chair for 4 MONTHS.
    2. She remains on the Board.
    3. She will be replaced by Mark Hurd, who is also CEO and President.
    4. The Board will backtracking on its new rule, that the Chair and CEO would be different people. This weakens HP's Corporate Governance.

    If the Board had any integrity, it would have acted...
    * immediately, upon learning of wrong doing
    * without coverup, without excuses
    * without compromise to the offenders

    The Board must demand Dunn's resignation from the Board. (There will be more legal fallout for HP if she remains, than if she leaves and HP cooperates fully with the California State, Federal, Congressional, SEC and FBI investigations).

    The Board needs to have a non-executive Chair. There needs to be a check on the CEO.

    The Board must make a public statement, repudiating in the strongest terms, the tactics used by its private investigators, and reiterating its stand on corporate integrity.

    The Board must take ACTION to convince the business and investment community that it is determined to regain the mantle of integrity and excellence it once had under Hewlett and Packard.

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

  15. identicon
    19532, Oct 29th, 2008 @ 10:40pm


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

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