Feeds

HP investigation went further than previously thought

Reporters followed, say leaks

Boost IT visibility and business value

Officials at Hewlett-Packard have been asked to testify to the House of Representatives which is investigating the company's media leak investigations. Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and General Counsel Ann Baskins have been asked to testify.

The firm has already admitted to hiring private investigators who obtained phone records of board members and journalists without permission. It emerged at the weekend, though, that the action taken may have gone further and that one reporter may have been followed as part of the investigations. Leaked details of a secret internal investigation at HP suggest that the investigation was overseen by Dunn and two of the company's legal staff before it was handed to a network of private investigators. The investigation appears to have found that the illicit monitoring of phone records was a part of the operation from the start.

As the crisis surrounding the world's second largest PC maker escalates it has emerged that the firm's own press spokesman, Michael Moeller, was the subject of call record monitoring. "Mark [Hurd, CEO] and Patty have personally apologised to me. I think it speaks volumes that I'm still doing my job," Moeller told reporters in the US.

Dunn instigated the original hunt for the source of press leaks as early as January 2005 when information about the ousting of former chief executive Carly Fiorina emerged in press reports. Investigators were hired and the source of the leak was eventually identified.

When it emerged at a board meeting in spring that phone records had been accessed without the knowledge or permission of directors, board member Tom Perkins resigned immediately. The source of the leaks was George Keyworth, who has now resigned from the board.

The actions may lead to criminal charges against HP officials. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has said that he could decide as early as this week whether or not to press charges. He said last week that he had enough evidence to press criminal charges against those inside and outside the company.

The internal investigation found, according to leaks, that legal opinion was sought at one stage about the action, but that the opinion was given by a firm that shared an address with one of the investigator firms hired to carry out the surveillance.

The investigation is also said to have uncovered evidence that one of the reporters behind stories sourced from the leaks was followed by private detectives. Dawn Kawamoto of CNet News may have been followed in the course of the investigation, the internal report has found. It also said that detectives attempted to plant spy software on the computer of one of the nine journalists whose phone records were obtained.

See also: OUT-LAW News, 12/09/2006

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.