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The FBI, a House of Representatives committee, and the US Attorney General for northern California are all now investigating HP. They join the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is looking at how HP told the markets about the resignation of director Tom Perkins.

The board had a phone conference yesterday and excluded chairman Patricia Dunn - but no decision on her future has been made public.

Dunn hired private investigators to find out who was leaking information from board discussions. The gumshoes which used phone records to find the mole on the board.

The House Energy and Communications committee is looking at the issue of "pretexting" - investigators used this method to get hold of phone records by falsely claiming to be someone else. The FBI is investigating possible wiretapping and illegal computer intrusion, and the Attorney General's office said it was looking at the process of investigation into the apparent boardroom leaks.

Dunn has said she was unaware that the private detectives she hired were using pretexting.

The markets seem unfazed by the unravelling scandal. HP's share price has stayed steady on the New York Stock Exchange, and yesterday was up 0.5 per cent.

More from AP here, and Businessweek has a convincing breakdown of divided opinion within the HP board here. ®

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