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Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Worse... Updated 4Xs
Monday, September 18 2006 @ 04:19 AM EDT

The HP story just grew again. This is the worst yet. Now it's being reported in the New York Times in an article titled Hewlett Review Is Said to Detail Deeper Spying [sub and cookies req'd] that pretexting isn't the only issue:
A secret investigation of news leaks at Hewlett-Packard was more elaborate than previously reported, and almost from the start involved the illicit gathering of private phone records and direct surveillance of board members and journalists, according to people briefed on the company’s review of the operation.

That's not even the worst of it. Here's the worst:

Those briefed on the company’s review of the operation say detectives tried to plant software on at least one journalist’s computer that would enable messages to be traced, and also followed directors and possibly a journalist in an attempt to identify a leaker on the board.

Somebody needs an ethics transplant.

Here's what else the Times reports:

  • Detectives working for HP tried to plant the tracking software by sending an anonymous "tip" along with some tracking software attached to the email that failed to work, as it happens. I hope it didn't work because the reporter used Linux, and so it was ineffective. But maybe it just malfunctioned. Or maybe their hope that she'd mail it to the leaker was foiled because she never sent it. In any case, it didn't work. Also no story was written using the bogus tip. That is because reporters are not stupid. It's a job requirement. Here's an example of tracking software, which can not only inform as to whom an email is forwarded, but it also tracks Microsoft Word and Excel documents. Parts of it are designed to work with Windows specifically and have to be manually set up for other systems. Update: This article explains web bugs.
  • Someone gave them photos so they'd be able to identify the reporter(s) they were to follow.
  • Security Outsourcing Solutions, the Boston investigations firm, hired Action Research Group, a FL PI firm, and then the dirty work was subcontracted out. One subcontractor was supposedly in Omaha. So we're talking at least five states now. California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and New York. Maybe New Mexico, I would assume.
  • The investigation was authorized by Dunn and had some measure of supervision by her but was "put under the supervision of Kevin Hunsaker, a senior counsel who is the company's director of ethics." Oh me, oh my. The degree of his supervision, they say, is unknown. The director of ethics.
  • HP didn't ask Larry Sonsini's firm for advice in advance. It asked the firm in Boston affiliated with Security Outsourcing, Bonner Kiernan Trebach & Crociata. At least they share a phone number, according to the report. [ Update: Corporate and Securities Law Blog's Alex Simpson points out that in effect instead of hiring its own outside counsel to represent HP's interests, it relied on the lawyer for Security Outsourcing. This is pretty certainly going to end up in the shareholder litigation, I think, too, because there's a conflict of interest there. The question becomes, did HP do all it should have done? Simpson: "I speculated in an earlier post that HP may have turned to a law firm specializing in privacy matters for an opinion on this matter, but I assumed (wrongly, apparently) that they would turn to somebody they were hiring and who was looking out for their interests, rather than some firm that is looking out for the other guy. ...In any event, it's unbelievable that they wouldn't have run the specialist's opinion by their main counsel, Wilson Sonsini, because of the serious corporate governance, securities and public relations issues involved."]
  • HP's execs and legal beagles were not clued in about the pretexting, as the reports on the investigation didn't tell them. The reports did mention call records though. It wasn't until Tom Perkins insisted on an investigation that they found out.

Not to be mean, but isn't being smart also a job requirement to be an executive at a major corporation any more? A board member? And if this was going on for such a long, long time, how is it possible no one ever asked where this juicy info was being obtained? Well, it seems somebody did ask.

But the review reveals that the investigation by its detectives was notable for a lack of close supervision by company officials.

Those briefed on the internal review said that at various times, questions were raised about the legality of the methods used. They did not identify who raised the questions, when, or to whom they were addressed.

Both of those details raise serious problems, I would think. If questions were raised about the legality, who provided the answers? And why wasn't there closer supervision? Like *after* somebody asked about the legality, at least?

I hope those of you who have been insisting that the real problem was the leaker will now upgrade your thinking. And you might want to read this article about being tracked by Javascript, now that it seems nobody cares about our privacy any more.

The Wall Street Journal's Peter Waldman and Don Clark raise another issue:

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s leak investigation appears to have continued for several weeks this spring after the source of leaked information from its board of directors was identified, according to people familiar with H-P's probe.

H-P has said Mark Hurd, the company's chief executive, received results of the investigation in March. But further work on the investigation may have continued into April and possibly May, these people said.

So the question of who knew what and when is now being addressed, I gather.

Update: This is information worth highlighting, some corporate governance principles from Douglas M. Branson, W. Edward Sell Professor of Business Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, on Jurist:

On a more modest level perhaps then criminal prosecutions, this whole mess teaches us several things about corporate governance.

1. Neither Board of Director Deliberations Nor Board Minutes Are Confidential.

Even material, non public investment information (inside information) is not per se confidential. The law prohibits trading on such information or tipping others to do so. Communication of such information to persons who will neither trade nor tip is perfectly permissible....

3. Chairman of the Board is an Empty Vessel into Which Various Corporations Pour Various Things.

....Unless there had been a board delegation, Patricia Dunn had no power to do what she did as board chair, let alone as a rank-and-file director.

Update: PC World fills in one blank, reporting on at least one individual who questioned the legality:

Although HP has claimed that its legal advisors told it that the pretexting was within the law, an HP security specialist reportedly questioned its legality earlier this year.

Fred Adler, a computer-crimes specialist within HP's global security division, and a former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, notified his supervisors that acquiring people's phone records under false pretenses could be against the law, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.


  


Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Worse... Updated 4Xs | 332 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections
Authored by: jplatt39 on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 04:27 AM EDT
If any are needed...

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Corrections - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 07:31 AM EDT
  • Corrections - Authored by: Benanov on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 09:07 AM EDT
  • Corrections - Authored by: Juggler9 on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 04:27 PM EDT
  • Corrections - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 07:55 PM EDT
  • Corrections - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 19 2006 @ 03:44 AM EDT
    • Corrections - Authored by: PJ on Tuesday, September 19 2006 @ 04:34 PM EDT
  • Corrections - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 19 2006 @ 04:24 AM EDT
Off-Topic
Authored by: jplatt39 on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 04:30 AM EDT
If providing links, try to make them clickable. Set post mode to html formatted
and use the tags in red. Oh and read the Important Stuff at the bottom of the
posting page.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Transplants
Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 05:02 AM EDT


In addition to an ethics transplant, they also need a brain transplant. This is
starting to remind me of the Sony Rootkit scandal - small details come out at
first, then larger, then larger, and then it's like a run away freight train...

I

1) wonder how many cases like this have been successfully hushed up?

2) how many more cases we will hear about now that this one is in the open?

I have this horrid feeling that this may be only the tip of the iceberg.



---
Wayne

http://urbanterrorist.blogspot.com/

[ Reply to This | # ]

planting software??
Authored by: bcomber on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 05:06 AM EDT
As PJ said, it's all about what you are running. I just wish I didn't run
windows at work. There is all sorts of stuff that our powers to be install
without our knowledge.


At least at home, I don't have to worry. You first have to get through the front
door, then get to the computer, and then know my password because when I leave
the computer is locked. Makes it pretty hard to get in.


Mike

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternate link to the NY Times story -- no login required
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 05:12 AM EDT
CNET has a reprint of the NY Times story as:

HP spying more elaborate than reported

A review is said to cite illicit surveillance including an attempt to plant message-tracing software on a journalist's computer.
The New York Times
By Damon Darlin
The New York Times
Published: September 17, 2006, 9:35 PM PDT

---
"There is nothing unexplainable, only that which has yet to be explained." --Dr. Who

[ Reply to This | # ]

A crying shame
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 05:51 AM EDT
You know, SCO's corporate history was nothing spectacular, even before they sold
all their stuff to Darl and Co., who set about to methodically expurgate any
trace of goodwill associated with the company name.

But HP used to mean something besides ink cartridges and ink cratridge holders.
They used to manufacture high quality testing equipment, and medical imaging
equipment. Why, I'm sitting not more than 5 feet away from a vintage HP apollo
workstation that's still shifting bits from register a to register b. HP
calculators used to be the ne plus ultra of calculators, and I fondly recall my
HP 11C. I'll refer readers to the HP calculator museum for more info:
http://www.hpmuseum.org/

But Carly Fiorina's odd merger with Compaq, and now this.

*sigh*
bkd

[ Reply to This | # ]

the best part is this
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 05:52 AM EDT
"Hopefully it didn't work because the reporter used Linux, and so it was ineffective." Though, i would use the word 'luckily' instead of 'hopefully'

[ Reply to This | # ]

The "gold standard" for privacy
Authored by: Saturn on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 06:31 AM EDT

"HP is a founding sponsor of the Council of Better Business Bureau's BBBOnLine Privacy Program, the "gold standard" for privacy certification. HP privacy practices meet the requirements of the Privacy Program and we are proud to display the BBBOnLine Privacy Seal."

So there you have it. This is what they mean by Gold Standard.

---
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My own opinion, and very humble one too.
Which is probably why I'm not a lawyer.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[ Reply to This | # ]

Maybe everyone is being a little hasty?
Authored by: jplatt39 on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 06:32 AM EDT
Respectfully, I have a big problem with some aspects of this article. For
example:

This is precisely the sort of article which, since I read the Times on a daily
basis in the eighties, I have always wanted to hear from another source,
independent corroboration, before I believed it. I trust they keep to a high
standard of writing. I trust that the science
reporters have a high standard of research. I trust that the arts staff has a
high standard of political ability and as I've said before the Jayson Blair
scandal seemed neither news nor to impact their coverage of especially minority
issues after the scandal was exposed. I've stopped reading most of their
coverage of M$, for example, when I read them today.

Then there are specific comments. For example:

> Not to be mean, but isn't being smart also a job
> requirement to be an executive at a major corporation any
> more? A board member? And if this was going on for such a
> long, long time, how is it possible no one ever asked
> where this juicy info was being obtained?

The behaviors described show that these people are not being detail-oriented in
this aspect of their jobs. While the wisdom of not being detail-oriented on
such a sensitive matter is arguable (or not: I don't want to defend it) many
people on that level have argued it is for subordinates to worry about the
details.

It's even possible that this might have been a deliberate strategy to maximize
protection in the events which are starting to unfold ("If you are caught
the Secretary will disavow any knowledge..."). Again, I don't want to
suggest the behaviors are smart, but under the circumstances they seem
depressingly understandable, if true, which they may be, I acknowledge.

Simply put, the comment is a value judgement. As such it is imprecise and
uninformative. I appreciate you feel very strongly about these issues, That you
didn't wait for other news outlets, using different sources, reminds me of that
bracing interview with Izzy Stone's biographer on NPR the other week. She said
that he believed "opinion does have a place in a news story, but do you
have the facts to back them up?" In this case you may yet prove to, but I
would have appreciated your putting the story up in the News Feeds and pointing
it out in comments until corroborating evidence was available.

[ Reply to This | # ]

No smarts required. Politicians.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 06:59 AM EDT
"Not to be mean, but isn't being smart also a job requirement to be an
executive at a major corporation any more? A board member?"

These people are just politicians (Corpols), no different then the idiots
(pubpols) seen on the Sunday morning talk shows. You show the naivete of
someone who has never worked for a major corp. A smart person or pol would have
learned from Watergate if nothing else but you see these things happening
everyday in both the public and corporate worlds.

I learned long ago that intelligence and common sense together are no qualifier
in the corp. world in fact they are handicap especially if combined with
scruples.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not that it excuses HP, but . . . .
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 07:15 AM EDT
Well, at least HP didn't use the courts to go after bloggers to uncover the
leaks. I
can only imagine the moral indignation if they had.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Well, this explains some things....
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 07:46 AM EDT
I'd wondered why the HP shills were so careful NEVER to use Keyworth's name in
the posts (it was always some slanderous pejorative, like "the dirty rotten
treacherous leaker"), although in the public reports of the board meeting
that attracted the attention, Keyworth was reportedly fingered as "THE
leaker." The shills always came off as seeming to finger Perkins: they
would ALWAYS talk about "the leaker" being the same as the person who
was angry about the investigation, again without naming names.

But this explains a lot. What the public hadn't heard at the time, what only the
HP spin millers knew -- was that even after Keyworth was outed, Dunn still had
an enemies list that wasn't completely filled in. Presumably, like SCO, HP
doesn't want to reveal which of its precioussss confidential information was
leaked, because that would be giving away ... precioussss confidential
information.

Therefore, all the time, Dunn had some OTHER leaker in mind. Obviously not
Perkins (for all the shills' not-so-subtle insinuations. Possibly the same as
the source of the last big leak (e.g., that Dunn wasn't out as board member.)

This explains a lot. The shills had such a straight party line, and seemed so
... indifferent to the publicly available details. Now we can see more of the
information that was driving THEIR wagon.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Coincidental correlations
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 07:49 AM EDT
isn't there a Jeff Hunsaker that is Unix Systems VP at SCO? Small world to see
another Hunsaker. Is that a common surname in the southwest USA?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Worse...
Authored by: ewilts on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 07:50 AM EDT
So we're talking at least five states now. California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and New York. Maybe New Mexico, I would assume.
You forgot about Iowa. I used dnsstuff.com to look up the IP address given in the letter from AT&T to Tom Perkins. That IP address sits in Cedar Rapids, IA. .../Ed

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hunsaker?
Authored by: Steve Martin on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 07:52 AM EDT

The investigation was authorized by Dunn and had some measure of supervision by her but was "put under the supervision of Kevin Hunsaker, a senior counsel who is the company's director of ethics.

When I first read this, I wondered where I had heard this name before. Turned out I was confusing Kevin Hunsaker with Jeff Hunsaker of The SCO Group. (I guess "Hunsaker" is a name I haven't heard very often in my life.)

---
"When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffee, "Sports Night"

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Hunsaker? - Authored by: john82a on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 08:01 AM EDT
  • Hunsaker? - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 08:57 AM EDT
  • Hunsaker? - Authored by: Brian S. on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 10:29 AM EDT
Morals
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 08:08 AM EDT
As a child growing up, my mom used to say that society reflects the morals of
the people, and that was why I had to be morally upstanding even when no one
else knew what I was doing, so as to not lower the moral standard of our country
(yes, she really spoke like that). Her point was that just because I didn't get
caught stealing that extra cookie from the lunch line didn't make it ok.

<rant>
The HP [story, saga, debacle] seems to me to be just the tip of the moral
iceberg here. I would bet there's a lot more ice out of view both in HP and in
Corporate America in general. Maybe I'm generalizing too much, but being the
cynical person I've become over the last 50 years, maybe not. And it seems that
the abysmal lack of moral standard being promoted by some of the companies in
the news recently has either seeped into, or maybe from, our political system.
I only have one question for America: As a people, when are we going to say
enough is enough?
</rant>

[ Reply to This | # ]

A marriage made in heaven
Authored by: hardcode57 on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 08:29 AM EDT
HP: a company which sells products running at least four OS's,
has no ethics and has a history of buying companies on their last legs.

SCO, an unethical OS company on its last legs.

If you play the market, it might be time to go long on SCOX stock: HP are bound
to make an excessive bid at any minute!

:-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

What would a prince do if he were in their position?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 08:51 AM EDT
If someone was leaking confidential information from a prince's organization,
what would he do? If the problem was serious enough, he might hire someone to
trace the leaks. Loose lips sink ships after all.

The thing he would try to avoid would be any kind of direct supervision of the
investigators. All he would insist on is that any evidence he was presented
with would be legally obtained. In other words, if they do something slimy and
maybe illegal, he doesn't want to know about it. He doesn't want to see
anything that even points in the direction of illegal activities. He wants his
hands to be lily white. A prince would rather be a Ronald Reagan than a Richard
Nixon.

(With apologies to Niccolo Machiavelli)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Worse...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 09:00 AM EDT
"Those briefed on the company’s review of the operation say detectives
tried to plant software on at least one journalist’s computer that would enable
messages to be traced, and also followed directors and possibly a journalist in
an attempt to identify a leaker on the board."

I guess now we know why corporations love windows so much - because windows
makes this so easy to do along with internet explorer only web pages.

There are web pages at my work that don't get changed at all in functionality
but require IE only - when they used to work with any browser and I didn't have
to be at my desk to do some work I could actually do some work while I work on
the unix servers in the data center. what a waste

[ Reply to This | # ]

My apologies PJ
Authored by: brian on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 09:04 AM EDT
In the previous story I was giving the investigators the benefit of a doubt but
this HAS crossed over into stalking.

"A secret investigation of news leaks at Hewlett-Packard was more elaborate
than previously reported, and almost from the start involved the illicit
gathering of private phone records and direct surveillance of board members and
journalists, according to people briefed on the company’s review of the
operation."

The difference between stakeouts and stalking is in how it is done and the
motivation behind doing it. This IMO has now crossed that line. When you start
going down the dark path it is difficult to get on the right path. Going after
people in the manner they did can now be called stalking in my book.
Investigation is supposed to be based on a good faith belief that it is
warrented. This has turned into an unwarrened witch hunt on the part of the
investigators.

My sincerest apology to you....

B.

---
#ifndef IANAL
#define IANAL
#endif

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • My apologies PJ - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 09:57 AM EDT
Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Worse...
Authored by: Bill The Cat on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 09:26 AM EDT
and another story...He wlett-Packard's Dunn, Baskins Asked to Testify

---
Bill Catz

[ Reply to This | # ]

Legal and Illegal Spying
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 09:30 AM EDT
It seems that this latest article lumps some perfectly legal activities in with
some clearly illegal activites. Handing out pictures of people that you want
more information on and having people followed is not illegal. Certainly the
ethics of such behavior are debatable but barring these activities as a means
towards an illegal goal I don't see the clear linking between these legal
activities and the more clearly illegal activities like lying to obtian personal
records and handing out SS numbers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Upgraded Thinking
Authored by: shiptar on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 10:01 AM EDT
There are plenty of businesses built around these investigation tactics. Why
did they suddenly become a problem? A few journalists and board members had
their privacy breached? Apparently, if you're in a divorce and want to have
your ex followed, it's ok. Unless they are a board member or a journalist?
What do you think those types of firms exist for?

It's funny how there's nothing wrong with them until their existence or use is
contrary to a journalist or board members goals.

Since this debacle has started, more than 2.6 million people have had their
credit, PHI or other personal information exposed by corporations or health
organizations. You don't see much mention of that. Is that because those
people are worth less than journalists?

I hardly think that is the lesser problem. It's time to upgrade the thinking
here, and look at the larger problems that exist. Not just through a microscope
at one tiny incident, that didn't actually hurt anyone. Unless this Dunn woman
was busy taking out mortgages in Perkins name.

I find that the fact that my credit card number was realeased by Circuit City is
far more of a problem then my boss going through my phone records. But hey, you
know, you feel really violated when someone sees who you have called. You feel
less violated to find twenty grand of charges suddenly on your card?

I just can't agree. Upgrade the thinking. Focus on the problem.

[ Reply to This | # ]

On what basis ...
Authored by: RealProgrammer on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 10:57 AM EDT
do you make the claim:

That is because reporters are not stupid. It's a job requirement.

I suppose it depends on how you define "stupid". Half of all reporters are below average. In fact, somewhere in the world is the stupidest reporter, someone who got and retains a job out of nepotism, looks, or other qualifications unrelated to the job requirements.

Recall how many reporters (in which I include "analysts") were licking SCO's spittle in the beginning. Do you attribute that to prejudice, corporate cynicism, or something other than intellect? Perhaps you aren't including "analysts" when you say "reporters", but I don't think that matters.

Looking over this, I seem to be in a sorely bitter mood. Chalk it up to Monday, and please, take no offense. Somewhere in the world is the smartest, most professional, and most ethical reporter, and I think she writes for Groklaw.

---
(I'm not a lawyer, but I know right from wrong)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Well, I did think iy could.
Authored by: Tufty on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 11:32 AM EDT
Corrections
If any are needed...

There is a correction needed, with a very big lart! Not the coverage but the
board.

For those who say the leak was wrong so what about investigating it? There also
seems to be a moral deficiency. Yes, leaks need to be plugged but there are
legal, moral and ethical ways to do it. Guess what? You will never plug leaks,
they will happen, intentionally or otherwise. If the company had ANY ethics or
morals then they would have made a point of this being totally internal. Making
sure that the prioity was put on keeping it that way rather than the results
justifying the means while never involving an outside party.

Why is it important that this is examined and stopped? Just imagine this being
an acceptable business practice. This level of intrusion and scrutiny of staff
and directors. How would business function? How would you feel if it was being
done to you. Perhaps you get called, at home, by a headhunter. You reply 'no
thanks'. You then get called in to explain why you were talking to a headhunter
and then dismissed. That is one example, never mind how good or poor, but there
could be thousands of others. A conversation with a doctor maybe? With a lawyer,
an old school friend who works for another company. I hear the cynics say it was
about phone numbers not conversations. How far would it go? How far did it go?

If a plug is not put in place then there is no stopping. Legislation? Maybe, but
there are plenty of existing laws to cover this. The biggest change needs to be
that companies have to adhere to moral and ethical business practices and be
sure not to turn leaks into floods by hacking into the side of the dam with a
JCB to find the source!


---
There has to be a rabbit down this rabbit hole somewhere!
Now I want its hide.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Leakers and blame
Authored by: OrlandoNative on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 11:37 AM EDT
PJ,

I *never* even intimated that what was done AFTER the leaks was ok. It wasn't.

But what some folks seem to want to try to do is seperate 'cause and effect';
and that is not reasonable.

It's like a bank having some employee count and seperate into like denomination
stacks a large amount of money on a lobby desk or table; and then have all the
lobby employees leave for lunch without putting it up, and without closing and
locking the door. *If* someone happens then to come in and help themselves,
it's true that they have committed theft; but had the money not been there,
would they have been tempted to do so? Quite possibly not. Are the bank
employees blameless if it's then stolen? In practice, no. One could easily
argue that, however intentionally or unintentionally, they aided and abetted the
crime... ...especially since what they did probably did not follow bank
proceedures.

The facts of the matter are, in my humble opinion, (1) that the leaker was wrong
to leak; (2) that the company and/or their agents went way overboard because of
it (and there sure should have been more oversight of what went on - always
assuming of course there wasn't - which I don't think has been totally proved
one way or the other yet); and (3) that there's no real indication that ANY of
what followed the leak WAS DESTINED TO HAPPEN even if the leak had not occurred.


You just can't seperate cause and effect in this case. The two are tied
together.

None of which absolves those in charge of the company from the mess they let
happen after the leak was made.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What are the odds HP will go under because of this?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 12:05 PM EDT
IANAL and all that, but I just keep wondering,

what are the odds this whole mess will cause HP to actually go under?

I know they have a lot of money, but as this story keeps getting messier, it
just looks like they won't have any hope.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Enlightened self-interest
Authored by: PeteS on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 02:38 PM EDT
I am reading all the moralising (which needs to be aired), but all the
moralising in the world won't stop other companies from doing the same, and
finding loopholes in any new laws, if indeed any are actually passed.

In the 70s and early 80s a lot of companies were convinced to go 'green' (or a
reasonable facsimile thereof) under the guise of enlightened self-interest. This
works on the premise that by being green, the reputation of the company
increases, leading to better sales to offset the extra costs of going green (in
this case).

A better example is employee retention. In high-tech it costs a fortune when a
senior engineer/scientist has to be replaced, and some companies go out of their
way to offer not merely money but other perks to retain people (they tend not to
leave because they enjoy working there).
HP *used* to be one of those companies, and that was part of what was referred
to as the HP Way. But this is a prime example of enlightened self-interest.

Applying it to the current situation, it seems the board has not applied the
test to their actions; their reputation at the senior management is in even
worse shreds than it was under Carly (and many of us thought it couldn't go
lower after the Compaq - HP 'merger').

There are two separate areas in which this will now bite them; consumers (but
that's a fleeting thing), and employees. It has been known for some time in the
trade that working at HP is a somewhat stressful situation and this is hardly
going to help them recruit the new R&D staff they will need.

Managers and Boards of directors do not invent new products; engineers and
scientists do.

If they don't come clean and clear out the sleaze, it's my personal opinion they
are going to find it harder and harder to get the people they need for those new
products, which they will have to produce to survive.

So my view is it is in their enlightened self-interest (well, the shareholders
interest, to whom the board is ultimately liable) to clean all this up, and
quickly.

As an aside, it's well known that there's a lot of angst (to this day) amongst
the old Compaq crew about HP - this is just going to add to the problem.

PeteS


---
Only the truly mediocre are always at their best

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Ironic
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 02:53 PM EDT
The investigation was authorized by Dunn and had some measure of supervision by her but was "put under the supervision of Kevin Hunsaker, a senior counsel who is the company's director of ethics." Oh me, oh my. The degree of his supervision, they say, in unknown. The director of ethics.
If that isn't the height of irony, I don't know what is.

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  • Ironic - Authored by: Jude on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 06:19 PM EDT
  • Ironic - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 07:20 PM EDT
SCO vs IBM: Hearing on SCO's objections
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 07:41 PM EDT
Any idea what the special hearing in October (from Pacer) is all about?

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Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Worse... Updated
Authored by: grundy on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 10:17 PM EDT

I have been following Alex Simpson's blog on this story; he has been brief
but not missed anything. I recommend it. He is now up to HP Part XVII.

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Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Worse... Updated
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 18 2006 @ 10:52 PM EDT
here is link about what the Congress is doing about pretexting.

http://news.com.com/Anti-HP+hypocrisy+in+Congress/2010-1029-6116611.html?part=dh
t&tag=nl.e703

Looks like Big Brother is firmly entrenched in American life.

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"Privilege Likely to Be No Protection for HP Execs Summoned by Congress" - Law.com
Authored by: Brian S. on Tuesday, September 19 2006 @ 12:31 AM EDT

The woes of Larry Sonsini and Hewlett-Packard Co. General Counsel Ann Baskins are growing. On Friday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce revealed that it has asked both to testify at a Sept. 28 hearing entitled "Hewlett-Packard's Pretexting Scandal."

In most circumstances, lawyers can safely stand behind the attorney-client privilege and refuse to discuss client matters. But congressional committee investigations are a different..... Law.com


Brian S.

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