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Five Charged With Corporate Spying at HP

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posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 08:52 AM
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Former Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and four others, including the company's Chief Ethics Officer Kevin Hunsaker, have been charged by the California Attorney General's Office with violating state privacy laws in a four count indictment. Each count carries a three year prison term and $10,000 fine.


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The scandal erupted last month when HP disclosed that detectives it hired to root out a series of boardroom leaks secretly obtained detailed phone logs of directors, employees and journalists. The detectives used a potentially criminal form of subterfuge known as pretexting to masquerade as their targets and trick telephone companies into turning over the records.

According to the criminal complaint, private investigators working for HP compromised the personal data of more than 24 people, including HP directors, employees and journalists. By March, the detectives had compiled records of 1,750 phone calls made on 157 cellular phones and 413 landlines.

In one of the more egregious cases, an impostor posing as CNET journalist Dawn Kawamoto in January successfully had Kawamoto's cell phone password removed, logged into her online account and changed the password. Several days later, someone viewed Kawamoto's detailed call log for nine minutes.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This case arises out of the tactics used by HP to find the source of leaks coming from inside the company's boardroom. The privacy of individuals under investigation for the leaks was compromised during the search for the leaker.

This case presents an interesting challenge to the legal system, pitting personal privacy laws against corporate practices in the effort to protect proprietary information.






[edit on 5-10-2006 by Icarus Rising]




 
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