HP spying went further than reported


— 12:00 AM on September 22, 2006

Two weeks ago, news broke that HP Chairwoman Patricia Dunn had ordered security consultants to illegally spy on HP's entire board of directors in an effort to unmask a leaker. The consultants reportedly went so far as to use social engineering to appropriate home phone records for HP board members. However, according to a new story on the Washington Post, phone record theft was only part of the operation. The story says HP CEO Mark Hurd himself gave the go-ahead on an "elaborate 'sting' operation" where senior a HP staffer posed as a leaker in order to trick a journalist into revealing her sources.

The Washington Post also says the search for the leaker involved "planting false documents, following HP board members and journalists, watching their homes, and obtaining calling records for hundreds of phone numbers belonging to HP directors, journalists and their spouses." The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is currently investigating HP's information gathering techniques, and Patricia Dunn along with other HP execs are scheduled to testify before a subcommittee of the House Committee on September 28.

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