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HP CEO's Browsing History Used Against Him

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the privacy-mode-ftw dept.

HP 230

theodp writes "Anything you browse can and will be used against you. An investigation of ousted HP CEO Mark Hurd's surfing history reportedly convinced the HP Board that Hurd had had a personal relationship with sexual harassment accuser Jodie Fisher, even if not sexual. Just the latest example of how HP 'work[s] together to create a culture of inclusion built on trust, respect and dignity for all.' The WSJ reported a person close to the investigation said Hurd had looked at clips from racy films featuring Ms. Fisher, a former actress, while someone 'familiar with Mr. Hurd's thinking' said he merely did a Google search of 10 minutes or so. One wonders how many more 'personal relationships' with Ms. Fisher the browser histories of HP's 304,000 worldwide employees might reveal. BTW, nice to see that Hurd has made it to HP's ex-CEO-Hall-of-Fame page."

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Some other tidbits from his browsing history (3, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274640)

bangedup.com

cracked.com

www.yzzerdd.com

naughtyceoassistants.com

google search: how to sexually harrass someone and not get caught

Re:Some other tidbits from his browsing history (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274954)

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blonde Bombshell (with my penis) inurl:imdb

Re:Some other tidbits from his browsing history (3, Funny)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275022)

google search: how to sexually harrass someone and not get caught

Clearly he should have used Bing for that search...

Re:Some other tidbits from his browsing history (0, Offtopic)

FatJuggles (1206940) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275224)

hahhaaa... I wish I had mod points. I don't know if they got the Bill Gates joke.

HA HA (3, Funny)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274650)

Next time be really nice to IT

Or request your own internet connection, not going through proxies or anything

But better still, don't be a moron and look at anything NSFW (at least not intentionally) while at work

Funny story, my last company's proxy would prevent us from apt-get upgrade. Why? libsexy /o\

Re:HA HA (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274704)

But better still, don't be a moron and look at anything NSFW (at least not intentionally) while at work

Honestly, I wonder about people who do such things. Not just at work, but also in public places. I was on Amtrak once, and I sat next to someone who had a pornographic picture as his desktop background. In plain sight, on a train filled with other people, and no attempt was made to hide it.

I have no problem with porn, or looking for "racy" clips of your former-actress-coworker, but I would think that people would want to be a bit more private about these sorts of things. Surely the CEO of HP has a home where he can privately look at whatever he wants.

Re:HA HA (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274796)

Maybe he doesn't see anything wrong with it and doesn't care about your opinion?

Re:HA HA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274856)

Could you post a copy of it or something similar so we can analyze this?

Re:HA HA (1)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274948)

I don't get the idiots that would use the traceable network to get their porn. I don't think there are too many companies that track data accessed from the optical drive (4 GB) or an SD card reader (64 GB), or screen capture software to view what employees are working on. These people could easily carry the data to their machine by hand, access in a form that probably isn't tracked, keep it on their person to prevent it accidentally being discovered, and as long as they are discrete about making sure nobody else catches a glimpse of it, they would probably be in the clear.

Re:HA HA (2, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275164)

Your workplace typically has far, far more bandwidth than your home, and a decent proxy server, and often has better computer screens and video cards than people who pay for home hardware can afford. That can provide a much better porn experience. And many porn sites do not easily support downloading the content, prefering to stream it live: technically sophisticated users can usually save it, but that's often considerable extra work.

I've actually gotten censured for having porn on the screen, even though it was becausae I was tracing spam being sent through a partner's mail server and tracing back the links and weirdness in the web page source code to analyze the company to send court orders to. I was in a discreet location checking the content, and when discreetly confronted about this had the email history and previous complaints to managers from me about the issues. But I was experienced enough to know to keep all that history.

The real conclusion from that is you have to CYA. Not only be innocent, but be able to prove it if you do anything that can be misinterpreted. I was lucky: the person who reported me, and hadn't believed my explanation of the material, learned a valuable lesson. And I got more support for setting up a DMZ for people to use their home laptops in, and keep them off the work network connecton, and to _not_ monitor that.

Re:HA HA (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275522)

This guy is the CEO of a gigantic multinational corporation. FY 2009, he apparently took home 24million and change. I'm guessing that he could have afforded a nice laptop and a decent cellular broadband connection....

Re:HA HA (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275572)

Yes; but that doesn't mean he knows anything about computers.

Re:HA HA (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275912)

>>>Not only be innocent, but be able to prove it if you do anything that can be misinterpreted.

That's assuming they give you a chance. In my experience most managers fire the employee (or contractor) and have him escorted out of the building without any opportunity to access the logs on their computer (and thereby prove innocence). You are tried, judged, and presumed guilty automatically.

Re:HA HA (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276202)

Strange, it's been my experience that work hardware is exactly the opposite. And while the work place *may* have a better connection than you do at home ( not a guarantee in the age of Verizon FIOS and cable speeds ), their proxy usually ruins the experience entirely, by it's very nature.

The home computer experience is often much better than work, and you have the benefit of not getting in trouble for indulging in your albino midget fantasies.

Re:HA HA (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275456)

Our society is moving inexorably toward greater acceptance of sexuality in the public square. Thankfully. There is no good reason to get all upset about some skin and thrusting. Porn consumption is acting as a catalyst toward a natural acceptance of sexuality as a positive thing rather than some shameful thing that needs to be hidden at all costs. I think most of urban gen Y and younger are just waiting until they're in the majority and then it will be time for Sexual Revolution Part Deux: Electric Boogaloo.

Europe is almost there as it is, nudity (which I know is not inherently sexual so nobody jump on me for conflation) is socially acceptable in Germany and environs, red light districts in the Netherlands are pretty in-your-face, and neither element is destroying those societies (even though I wouldn't want to live under their political restrictions).

How is NSFW worse than something else? (3, Insightful)

Fastfwd (44389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275568)

How does your morals matter?

How is someone looking at NSFW content worse than someone reading /. ? Does it somehow mean that the person is working even less because it's also amoral to you?
Maybe ./ is not so bad because to many of us it can be work related at least a little. But my argument still stands. Either you are allowed to browse the 'net for non-strictly work content or not, content should not matter.

Re:How is NSFW worse than something else? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275680)

I'm pretty sure the folks in IT will have seen any /. content ... and probably the porn too ... by the time you get caught doing this at work. At least you'll have something in common to talk about while trying to come up with a lame "I thought I was going to see a golf video" lie ;-)

Re:HA HA (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275824)

Surely the CEO of HP has a home where he can privately look at whatever he wants.

That home is also where he most likely keeps his wife who can make his life hell, or take half his shit when she leaves.

Work is much safer.

Re:HA HA (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276224)

My wife fully supports my "habits," as I do hers.....if his wife doesn't like it, then I'd argue he married the wrong woman.

Re:HA HA (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275862)

>>>I sat next to someone who had a pornographic picture

Was it really pornographic, or just a naked person? Many people don't consider the human body something to be ashamed of, and therefore no reason to hide it, or not include it on their personal desktop.

The more of these stories I hear about people losing jobs because of browsing history, the more convinced I am that workers should simply delete the web browser off their computers. It can be reinstalled later if you need it for work (which most people don't).

Re:HA HA (2, Informative)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274878)

Sounds like Simon [ntk.net] didn't like him.

Re:HA HA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275062)

He should have gotten himself a HP smartphone and done his questionable surfing over the cell network, out of the reach of corporate IT.

Re:HA HA (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275218)

Step 1) Buy a 3G USB dongle.
Step 2) Disconnect your ethernet cable, insert dongle.
Step 3) Surf porn without risking your career.

Is that really that freakin' hard for the CEO of a major computer manufacturer to figure out???

Re:HA HA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275340)

Step 1) Buy a 3G USB dongle.
Step 2) Disconnect your ethernet cable, insert dongle.
Step 3) Surf porn without risking your career.

If he'd been a little more careful about where he inserted his dongle, he'd have avoided all this trouble in the first place.

Re:HA HA (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276164)

On that note, a rich guy like him couldn't afford an independent cell modem? I have one.

OTH, he probably felt he was doing nothing wrong until he got caught.

I suspect there is a lot more under non-disclosure agreements than came out== that and a 40 mil paycheck if he didn't fight it.

Nice to see nothing's changed there (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274678)

Anyone remember their previous board spying scandal [wikipedia.org] ? Must be a REAL fun place to work.

Re:Nice to see nothing's changed there (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274798)

And to think, if they simply didn't do this bullshit, they could have afforded to keep people on (including my sister who now works elsewhere).

Re:Nice to see nothing's changed there (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275608)

looks like the internal security hasn't learnt the leason and is leaking like a sieve if they are leaking ifo about sensative investigations like this time for a new HR Director and director of ethics me thinks.

Anatomy of a Printer (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274690)

I'd like to replace my printer ink with semen, urine, and feces. Please, HP, consider this suggestion in future models.

The HP Way is dead. (4, Interesting)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274730)

HP died with Lew Platt. Carly Fiorina was a trainwreck. The HP Way is gone and done, and has been since the first layoffs just prior to 9/11.

Re:The HP Way is dead. (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275254)

HP died with Lew Platt. Carly Fiorina was a trainwreck. The HP Way is gone and done, and has been since the first layoffs just prior to 9/11.

Amen to that, although the skeptical would assume that Fiorina was a sign and not a catalyst. HP is over and anyone buying products from them today is buying punishment for their bad decisions first and foremost. HP support has become a complete nightmare and like Sun, they have been buying products and firing the people who understand them as quickly as possible.

the story summary is rather sympathetic to hurd (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274736)

sexual harassment is pretty serious. one would think we should be more sympathetic to jodie fisher, not hurd

oh right, his browsing history was used against him. therefore, we should be sympathetic to him (rolls eyes)

if you are under investigation for something serious, investigators will investigate you, as they should. what is so dramatic or controversial about that?

why is the browser history angle supposed to be particularly inflammatory or peculiar? its just another avenue of investigation, as valid as any other. nothing big brother here, nothing amazing or new or even remarkable about this avenue of investigation

if this concept of using your browsing history against you bothers you, then delete your browsing history. end of drama

oh, and don't engage in sexual harassment. pffffft

No automatic sympathy for either. How about facts? (2, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274788)

sexual harassment is pretty serious. one would think we should be more sympathetic to jodie fisher, not hurd. oh right, his browsing history was used against him. therefore, we should be sympathetic to him (rolls eyes)

Pardon me if I'm sympathetic to neither since I know neither party nor do I know the exact circumstances. A woman making a sexual harassment claim should neither immediately receive sympathy nor suspicion. Likewise claims of spying or overstepping the bounds of what might be considered reasonable surveillance is not something anyone should automatically have a knee-jerk reaction to. The bias you are seeing is because you are on a geek message board not a feminist message board.

the guy resigned, we're beyond initial bias (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274876)

you would be correct to criticize bias either for or against hurd or fisher, if the case just broke

but we're into culpability territory now: would the guy fold so quickly and thoroughly if he were innocent?

so to see bias and sympathy for hurd, when his actions speak to guilt, and the case is winding down, is egregious on the part of slashdot's story summary. slashdot's story summary is less about hurd and fisher, and more about the completely unshocking and totally mundane use of browsing history against someone under serious suspicion. any slashdot geek worth his salt is well aware of the concept of browsing history as a liability. its a nonissue, for slashdot geeks, and so the spin in favor of hurd is just wrong

to see bias towards someone whose actions since the case broke seem beyond suspicious is bogus and i will criticize bias in favor of hurd, and i will openly suggest our sympathies should be for fisher, at this point in the case

Re:the guy resigned, we're beyond initial bias (1)

davev2.0 (1873518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274972)

He did not resign because of the sexual harassment charges. The investigation found he did not violate the company's sexual harassment policies. He was asked to resign and did so because the board felt that he violated the company's standards of business conduct, conduct that was discovered during the investigation.

Re:the guy resigned, we're beyond initial bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275784)

"but we're into culpability territory now: would the guy fold so quickly and thoroughly if he were innocent?"

Even if you are not a CEO that has done something bad, then if you are a CEO that sues to stay when the company wants you out, you are an even worse CEO.

Re:the story summary is rather sympathetic to hurd (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274814)

sexual harassment is pretty serious

The last time I worked for a big corporation, we were given a guide to avoiding sexual harassment. Already, this should suggest to you that "sexual harassment" covers more than you think it does -- after all, we were given a guide to avoiding it, not just told to show respect to our coworkers. The guide indicated that pinning up a swimsuit calendar in your cubicle is considered sexual harassment. So is look at sexy (not necessarily nude or pornographic) pictures on your computer, since a female coworker might see the display and get offended.

Sorry, but ever since then, I have been suspicious of "sexual harassment" claims, particularly when details are scant and the claims come out of a corporation. If one her first day at HP, her first encounter with Mr. Hurd was him grabbing her butt in the copy room and asking her to get naked, then fine, it is sexual harassment. Without details indicating that, though, I would not jump to conclusions.

Re:the story summary is rather sympathetic to hurd (2, Funny)

Maarx (1794262) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275268)

If one her first day at HP, her first encounter with Mr. Hurd was him grabbing her butt in the copy room and asking her to get naked, then fine, it is sexual harassment.

Nah, he waited until the second day. That's what his buddy Larry E. told him to do.

What is the Real Reason Hurd Was Fired? (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274854)

sexual harassment is pretty serious. one would think we should be more sympathetic to jodie fisher, not hurd

I agree, sexual harassment is a very serious problem and should not be taken lightly. But could you present the evidence of sexual harassment? Larry Ellison said of it [businessinsider.com] '"The H.P. board admits that it fully investigated the sexual harassment claims against Mark and found them to be utterly false." Furthermore the reason Hurd was fired appeared to be [gawker.com] "numerous instances where [Hurd's love interest, Jodie Fisher] received compensation and/or expense reimbursement where there was not a legitimate business purpose, as well as numerous instances where inaccurate expense reports were submitted by Mark or on his behalf that intended to or had the effect of concealing Mark's personal relationship with the contractor." If that's true, misuse of company funds is also serious but not on the level of sexual harassment.

oh right, his browsing history was used against him. therefore, we should be sympathetic to him (rolls eyes)

My concern here -- and what I think the general readership thinks -- is that Hurd did some questionable things or possibly made some enemies and so they tried to dig up anything they could on them. When the sexual harassment charges didn't stick well enough, they used a company policy that everyone is guilty of: using company resources and time to google silly things or read tabloids or do things unrelated to work. "Racy" means [wiktionary.org] "Mildly risque, exciting." So he visited some mildly risque sites?

Basically this looks to be a scenario where Hurd upset someone and they simply looked through his browsing history in order to find a reason to terminate him. Are they constantly searching through browsing histories of all 304,000 employees to find which employment they should terminate? No, they are not. You speak so highly of ethics regarding sexual harassment but what about the ethics of terminating the employment of just one person when he is no more guilty than thousands of other employees -- which you also have the means and option to investigate.

Re:What is the Real Reason Hurd Was Fired? (5, Funny)

johnhp (1807490) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274946)

Nice try Mark, but I think the board's decision is final.

Re:What is the Real Reason Hurd Was Fired? (-1, Offtopic)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275166)

Recently I found out what the acronym Oracle stood for: One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison.

Re:What is the Real Reason Hurd Was Fired? (3, Interesting)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275362)

If that's true, misuse of company funds is also serious but not on the level of sexual harassment.

Seriously, you think sexual harassment (an entirely civil matter) is worse than embezzlement (a criminal matter)? How does that make a lick of sense?

Re:What is the Real Reason Hurd Was Fired? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275570)

If that's true, misuse of company funds is also serious but not on the level of sexual harassment.

Seriously, you think sexual harassment (an entirely civil matter) is worse than embezzlement (a criminal matter)? How does that make a lick of sense?

Uh, okay, so where are those criminal charges? What you can just say he embezzled funds and fire him? And you take that to imply guilt?

Re:What is the Real Reason Hurd Was Fired? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275872)

Seriously, you think sexual harassment (an entirely civil matter) is worse than embezzlement (a criminal matter)? How does that make a lick of sense?

It's dangerous to assume that sexual harassment can't escalate to a criminal charge:

Is Sexual Harassment A Crime?


While there is no specific criminal charge called "sexual harassment," [in Kentucky] behavior that constitutes sexual harassment may violate other criminal laws. Possible criminal charges include:

Stalking
Assault
Harassing communications

Thus, in addition bringing a civil action against an employer, school, and/or individual, targets of sexual harassment may also find it helpful to file reports with law enforcement officials and assist with prosecutions. Understanding Sexual Harassment [brinkster.net]

Re:What is the Real Reason Hurd Was Fired? (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275454)

misuse of company funds is also serious but not on the level of sexual harassment

HOW do you figure that? Sexual harrassment can be minor or it can be a major, in this case we have no idea what level this could have been considered.

On the other hand, we have $75,000 thrown away on non-work related stuff. This is not like taking a sticky pad home with you or using the business copier for your own use. If this was any other employee in the company not only would they be frog marched out the door, they would have called the cops and had them arrested for stealing company property. But this is the CEO who was just paid $40 million for walking away why would we hold him to the same standards as other employees.

Re:the story summary is rather sympathetic to hurd (2, Informative)

davev2.0 (1873518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274924)

You would be right if he was found to have committed sexual harassment.

But, he wasn't.

no he just quickly resigned (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274998)

under a shroud of secrecy, and never even tried to defend himself. he just completely and immediately crumbled and folded under the accusations, without the slightest hesitation. the actions of an innocent man? i don't think so

Re:no he just quickly resigned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275082)

Or he is getting a nice parachute to leave and is well respected enough for his business acumen that a number of corps will be happy to pick him up. He gets paid to leave and pick up another job.

Re:no he just quickly resigned (2, Insightful)

davev2.0 (1873518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275094)

He did not "quickly resign under a shroud of secrecy". There was a complete investigation.

The investigation found he did not commit sexual harassment, but did find he violated the company's business conduct code. That is why he was asked to resign and he resigned because the board intimated that he could resign or he could be removed.

Maybe you should try reading the actual stories about this subject. Then, you wouldn't say things that are patently and provably false.

Re:no he just quickly resigned (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275440)

Are there really people who believe that there is an inverse correlation between guilt and defence?

I think if someone accused me of something wild and outlandish which I didn't do, I might just shrug my shoulders, keep my mouth shut and put up no real defence. I wouldn't say I was guilty - but neither did Hurd - but I just don't care to defend myself. I'm past the insecure days of caring about my image or wanting to hang around in any environment where I have to endure petty shit.

At any moment in life any man is a determined arsehole with an ounce of cunning away from having his reputation corrupted. To win, you don't play. If you're as bright as Hurd, there's always somewhere else to go.

WHAT a BARGAIN! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275670)

pay me $4e7 to go away, and you can call me anything you want...
I probably won't even bother to sue you on any actionable counts of slander, since I'll be busy snorting blow off three hookers' asses on my yacht.
bloody small-minded peons.


(incidentally, has anyone summed up what HP has paid this slimebag? Was it worth it?)

Re:the story summary is rather sympathetic to hurd (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275908)

sexual harassment is pretty serious.

Unless it is committed by a Democratic governor of a southern US state. In that case, perjury and a little political demagoguery can make it go away.

What would you bet... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274766)

I have a feeling there is going to be a spike in searches for Jodie Fisher for a few days.

Re:What would you bet... (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275666)

Former actress? I think they forgot the _PORN_ part.

Train Wreck (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274808)

The linked page of former HP CEOs [hp.com] is one of the most pathetic web pages I've ever seen from a company of the stature of HP. The horrible, unflattering thumbnail-sized photos. The description of their careers, which basically amounts to "this person lived for a period of time and worked for HP." What the hell kind of company puts this material on their website?

Re:Train Wreck (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275516)

hp.com [hp.com] for one

Re:Train Wreck (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275592)

The linked page of former HP CEOs [hp.com] is one of the most pathetic web pages I've ever seen from a company of the stature of HP. The horrible, unflattering thumbnail-sized photos. The description of their careers, which basically amounts to "this person lived for a period of time and worked for HP." What the hell kind of company puts this material on their website?

If you click on them, you get some details on their tenure at HP. Interestingly, Hurd's is a 404.

Anything you do on the net ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274818)

can be used against you. There are a whole bunch of things I won't say on the net and a whole bunch of searches I won't do. In a sense I feel a whole lot less free because I know that, even if I'm not being specifically watched, it is easy to find anything I have ever done online and use it against me.

"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." attributed to Cardinal Richelieu

No Sympathy (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274820)

While the summary is full of sympathy for Hurd, implying that he was the wronged party in this situation (boggles the mind...), I have absolutely no sympathy for him. Ignoring the fact that he got a rather sizable golden handshake which would enable most people to retire in luxury, he was stupid. When you're in a management position, especially a senior management position (such as the CEO...), you have an obligation to not cross personal boundaries. Members of senior management should know better. It's inappropriate and it's the sort of thing that leads to trouble. Shockingly, it lead to trouble.

No sympathy. I have no clue if he was a good CEO or not, but he was a stupid one, that's for certain.

Re:No Sympathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275566)

Or maybe he knew the risks and thought the reward was worth it, and neither wants nor cares about your opinion, and is very much enjoying his golden parachute and looking forward to his next major CEO position. You expect people in such positions of power to live by the same rules they expect the rest of us to live by? Ha! I say. Ha.

Re:No Sympathy (1)

rilles (1153657) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275636)

Silly rabbit, rules are for the minions to follow.. they don't apply to top management.

The case against Hurd is dubious (2, Informative)

hessian (467078) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274828)

This article summarizes it well but I'd have to quote more than "fair use" allows:

http://gawker.com/5609386/heres-the-real-reason-hp-ceo-mark-hurd-was-fired [gawker.com]

tl;dr Hurd was a goofus and tried to get intimate with a subordinate but backed off when it went nowhere, and probably did nothing illegal or immoral to Jodie Fischer or HP; the board just wanted to avoid publicity.

Re:The case against Hurd is dubious (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275038)

Hurd was a goofus and tried to get intimate with a subordinate but backed off when it went nowhere, and probably did nothing illegal or immoral to Jodie Fischer or HP; the board just wanted to avoid publicity.

Well, I would hope that someone with his salary and responsibility would be more of a "Gallant" and less of a "Goofus."

Yeah, I read "Highlights" back then in the 70's in the doctor's office waiting room.

Re:The case against Hurd is dubious (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275278)

Is suspect the *real* reason isn't known (and maybe never will be). The board obviously wanted him gone, and not just because of some silly harassment suit that could have been easily handled. The evidence pointed to a mutual relationship, and that would have made it easy to fight and cheap to pay off (if they had been inclined). The sexual harassment thing was likely just a convenient pretense for a board that had been wanting to let him go for whatever other reason(s) for some time.

Re:The case against Hurd is dubious (1)

Ozymandias_KoK (48811) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275360)

The board just wanted to avoid publicity? They sure fucked that one up.

Re:The case against Hurd is dubious (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275604)

the board just wanted to avoid publicity.

...and succeeded!

Oh, wait...

How much do you wanna bet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274950)

..that if HP's quarterly earnings were spiking instead of tanking the board's "culture of inclusion" would be throwing him a party on a yacht rather than pursuing harassment charges in their own kangaroo court.

Sure, maybe he harassed her. But the company would wait stolidly for the verdict of a duly-appointed jury if he were profitable. This is just a way to get rid of him without drawing attention to the sagging stock price.

MPU (1)

Maarx (1794262) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275296)

This guy. Right here. Nailed it. MPU.

HP sure carefully worded their reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274952)

Much has been made saying that he had a non sexual relationship with the victim. Even the victim stated that she did not have a sexual relationship with him.

However, sexual harassment also includes his attempts to have such a relationship, and neither party talks about that issue. So the way the story plays in the press, you'd think he'd just filled out some bad expense reports and HP fired him for it. The press still hasn't seem to have tackled the angle about what did Hurd say or do, or how he may have tried to abuse his power in order to get sex from this woman.

Re:HP sure carefully worded their reasons (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275614)

I don't know if you're somehow suggesting that HP controls the press, because if not and there is something to the harassment claim, this would be the first time the press had ever willingly exercised self restraint in the event of a sex scandal instead of poring over every lurid detail (hell, they're even pretty fuzzy on the "something to the claim" part usually).

Is it just me? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275010)

Or does "Hurd" sound like "Turd" ?

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275264)

it's just you.

That's why (1)

Xenna (37238) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275124)

That's why I have an OpenVPN tcp tunnel to my home server and browser history and cache are automatically cleared.

Not buying HP (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275172)

This me, committing to try to avoid buying HP for some time to come. These kind of tactics are immature, reckless, and generally indicative of people who are not fit to be making informed decisions.

Those decisions are likewise reflected in the HP product line.

Unfortunately, that pretty much leaves nobody with likely reliable equipment.

This is how HP operates.... (1, Flamebait)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275184)

HP's board used a technique usually only employed by private dicks, called "pretexting", to round up all the private cell numbers of board numbers, so they could figure out who leaked a HP story to CNET. This was in '06:

http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2006/09/71730 [wired.com]

This company makes Intel look like shangra-la. Working for HP, even at the top levels, is akin to working for Uncle Joe Stalin in '43. They're gonna know who you are and where you live, who you talk to and if you like giving it hookers up the butt. Everything and more, for the HP paycheck.


Remind yourself of the company history and tactics when deciding on that new printer.

There needs to be a book on HP like Jackson' book on Intel:
http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Intel-Andrew-Powerful-Company/dp/052594141X [amazon.com]

HP, Cisco, Intel - all of these are cultures of paranoia and spying. Much of it has been documented in books like the one above. Caveat emptor.

Re:This is how HP operates.... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275484)

Working for HP, even at the top levels, is akin to working for Uncle Joe Stalin in '43. They're gonna know who you are and where you live,

That's easy . . . working for Joe Stalin, means that they knew where you lived . . . in the Gulag Archipelago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag_Archipelago [wikipedia.org]

Masturbation video... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275200)

http://www.dalealplay.com/informaciondecontenido.php?con=109201

What is sexual harrassment? (4, Interesting)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275222)

There's plenty of confusion about the basic definition of sexual harrassment. I've been a POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harrassment) trainer at my employer and I can tell you from hard experience - most people have no idea.

In broad strokes, then, here's what you need to know.

Most people think in terms of a "reasonable person" criteria. That's a relic of the past. When sexual harrassment first got major corp attention, the people in charge tended to apply common sense. They'd ask "Would a reasonable person consider this case to be sexual harrassment?" This seemed like a good approach and it did cover the basics. No reasonable person would disagree that "Sleep with me if you want this promotion" is harrassment.

The "reasonable person" standard, however, did not address the very wide middle ground. Are dirty jokes harrassing? If not occasionally, then how often? How many per day should be allowed? Should you be held responsible for being unintentially overheard? The "reasonable person" criteria failed to address all these at first blush.

Now, in my organization, we expected people to speak up for themselves. If someone felt harrassed and said "That makes me uncomfortable", then the person doing the harrassing action no longer had an excuse. Even if the harrasser felt that a "reasonble person" would not be harrassed by the situation, the harrasser now knew that their criteria was misused in re the person who made the complaint.

In practice, this meant that anyone could get away with anything (except the obvious aforementioned "sex for a job" situation I previously mentioned) until they were put on warning. Since it was up to the victim to issue the warning and since the victims frequently felt they were rendered powerless by the situation, warnings weren't issued. Bad manners continued to be displayed. Major harrassment incidents stopped but more subtle things that really do impact the bottom line (things like "a pervasive atmosphere of harrassment" or however you want to phrase it) continued unabated.

The "reasonable person" criteria had to be abandoned.

The new criteria is pretty simple. The victim defines the crime. If someone says something is sexual harrassment, it is.

The current situation, where *anything* is sexual harrassment if someone wants to feel they're being harrassed, results in lots of counter-intuitive weirdness. It seems crazy that if I stick up a calendar from a local sports team that has a picture of the cheerleaders on it, it's harrassment. That harrassment may not be in full flower but you better believe I'm going to be told to take it down before some super-sensitive idiot sees it and gets their feelings hurt.

As stupid as this seems, it actually works out better in practice. By "over-specifying" the defintion of sexual harrassment, the oppressive environments that were able to continue to exist under the "reasonable person" criteria are resolved. Yes, us old white men feel a bit put upon because we can't make dirty blonde jokes. But the upside is that the whole place works better and everyone can better contribute up to their potential.

Bottom line for people who don't work in big-corp type environments: the definition of "sexual harrassment" is much broader than seems reasonable. For practical reasons, learned the hard way over decades, the situation must be this way.

I don't like it. It offends my sense of justice. But I've seen it done both ways and in practice, the unreasonable, nanny-state version of sexual harrassment remediation just works better for everyone involved.

Re:What is sexual harrassment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275632)

"As stupid as this seems, it actually works out better in practice."

How would this be different from a situation where the person saying "I am a victim" decides who to lock up for rape, except for the severity of the reaction?

Does this rule for who to punish and why apply to anything else in society?

Re:What is sexual harrassment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33276088)

How would this be different from a situation where the person saying "I am a victim" decides who to lock up for rape, except for the severity of the reaction?

There is no difference, and that's why we have adopted this definition of rape in Swedish courts. We lock up men because women said they were raped - even if there was no actual intercourse with a penis in the vagina. It's still rape. She said so.

Re:What is sexual harrassment? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275748)

No reasonable person would disagree that "Sleep with me if you want this promotion" is harrassment

But is it OK if at least one of you was drunk?

Re:What is sexual harrassment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275810)

And you think this approach actually resolves 'oppressive environments' when it just creates a new type of oppressive environment. The new oppressive environment being the institution enforced fear / suspicion that is applied to your entire workforce due to these vague definitions of infringement.

Re:What is sexual harrassment? (2, Interesting)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276128)

In principle, I agree with you. In practice, no.

The "overall oppressive environment" where everybody has to watch their P's and Q's isn't that bad. It's really just enforced courtesy and respect. Sometimes it doesn't feel genuine and I miss the days when it was easier to tell who was a gentleman towards the ladies and who was just a crude ruffian. Nowadays, they all act about the same.

While the "enforced respect" grates on my nerves, I do see the practical aspect. A few people feel oppressed; they can't be as big a jerk as they once were and get away with it. I don't feel too bad about that. I've seen too much ass-grabbing by executives and I've seen how it stresses out the kid who gets grabbed. (And I've seen a lot of *kids* who came to the workplace as a part of a high-school program be on the heartbreaking receiving end of this crap.) I don't really mourn, too much, the oppression currently being imposed on the ass-grabbers.

In a more general sense, the workplace loses some of the color, humanity, vivaciousness, and joviality it once had. 30 years ago, the workplace felt more like family, including all the foibles that entails. Sometimes I miss that.

On balance, however, the new way of doing things creates a more stable, productive environment. Ultimately, it works out better in practice.

From a principled point of view, I continue to find the whole "let the victim define the crime" idea repulsive. But for addressing sexual harrassment in the workplace (and we're only talking about that specific case in this thread), it works better than the old way.

Re:What is sexual harrassment? (2, Interesting)

FerociousFerret (533780) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275842)

While see your point and tend to agree with it, there is still the problem of the perceived victim abusing the system. Under this broader definition, if I ask a co-worker on a date (even if only once and I let it go) and she is so inclined, she can report me for sexual harassment. As you say, the victim defines the crime and most companies have a no tolerance rule for sexual harassment, so I stand a very good chance of losing my job because of something a "reasonable person" would never consider harassment. I have seen first hand a similar situation where a female co-worker didn't like this one guy and looked for anything to report him. As soon as he had an interaction with her while working as a team on a project, she reported him and got him fired, even though another co-worker witnessed the interaction and said it was not inappropriate. Victim cries wolf and someone is fired.

Re:What is sexual harrassment? (2, Insightful)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276052)

I've been a POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harrassment) trainer at my employer

The fact that this sort of training exists, and there's a (presumably) recognized acronym for it, means the whole situation has gone entirely too far.

Re:What is sexual harrassment? (1)

Spykk (823586) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276066)

the unreasonable, nanny-state version of sexual harrassment remediation just works better for everyone involved

Even the otherwise innocent guy who loses his job when a coworker decides she wants a big payout from the company?

Re:What is sexual harrassment? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276152)

That obviously won't apply here. He was a CEO, he can be pretty much guaranteed to have been guilty of something.

Re:What is sexual harrassment? (2, Informative)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276210)

Your not allowing me to put up a tasteful poster of a beautiful, if scantily clad, woman is clearly a sexual issue, and I see it as harrasment. The victim defines the crime, right ?

Nonsensical evidence (3, Insightful)

biscuitlover (1306893) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275290)

If you were working at a company and you found out that someone you worked with had been in some adult movies, wouldn't you be curious enough to google them and check it out? I sure as hell would.

I can't speak about the rest of the case, but evidence of harassment or a personal relationship this is not.

Re:Nonsensical evidence (2, Insightful)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275782)

If you were working at a company and you found out that someone you worked with had been in some adult movies, wouldn't you be curious enough to google them and check it out? I sure as hell would.

I think I'd do it at home rather than work though...

Less like a hall of fame (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275514)

More simply just a list of all their CEOs? I guess that comment was simply meant to be catty and I'm over thinking it.

On the other hand... (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275638)

I don't suppose that anyone has considered the possibility that this story and others like it are the result of a concerted effort by Mr. Hurd (and his rather influential allies) to rehabilitate his image by smearing his accuser? I mean, it's not like the method is unheard of (cf. practically every rape trial) or that misconduct by the executives of companies large and small, sexual and otherwise, is exactly a rarity. Moreover, there's a pretty vast disparity in the ability of these two individuals to pump their version of events in the tech and financial press.

I'm also going to guess that, given the immense liability risks involved, that the HP board probably based their decision on more than just Hurd's browser history.

CEO list sorted by character and capability (1)

edfardos (863920) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275738)

Carly used to preach "character and capability" dogma BS during her tenure. It's interesting how that CEO list is sorted in order starting with the most character and capability. --edfardos

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275796)

This isn't really a good omen for the rest of us, is it? You can work as hard as you like, but the minute you decided to do something that isn't intensely work related, your boss comes down on you like a pile of bricks. And all you were doing was checking out prices on eBay and DubLi for something in your 5 minute break you get per hour.

This should be interesting to ALL (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275860)

The first is that HP does a nice job of tracking you. In fact, in general, ALL of Corporate America does this. The important part of that, is that HR is typically given access to the data. That way, if the company needs/wants to fire you, almost ALWAYS, they have SOMETHING to base it on.

The second is that all should realize that Hurd was not fired for Sex harassment. He was fired because ppl on the board wanted him out and did not have the courage to simply fire him.

Third, that is DAMN scary that Sexual harassment can be looking up public information about somebody. Would I, or anybody else, watch that kind of info on an somebody in a public position, esp. an actress? Hell yah. Even the HR would have done that.

due diligence? (1)

daithesong (1124065) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275946)

um, if I were employing somebody, and there was indication that they may have an ... interesting ... history on the internet, I think it would be remiss of me NOT to know what my customers and business associates may find there. If they are representing the company, their online persona is part of that representation.

Ahhh...the web logs... (1)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275976)

Many employees worry about WebSense and other logging apps but in my experience, those apps aren't what gets you in to trouble. I've never seen an investigation start with the logs...but I have seen a couple of senior execs fall after the board started an inquiry in to some internal financial issues and the investigators found porn on the execs computers. As soon as they find out they go pull the web logs and then things spiral. So often these logs aren't really the target of the investigators, but if they're looking for something else they sure can hang you. Like I said, I've seen a few people get taken down for things like this when the actual investigation found they did nothing wrong.

So be careful. Don't be an idiot. Don't be the CEO looking at porn at work when you can do it at home. It just doesn't make sense. What's sad is I'm sure some of these guys look at porn at work because their wife gets mad at home. Nice job honey. :)

Here's the problem I have with this... (1)

natet (158905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276018)

Browsing history is a horrible way to determine anything. You don't know exactly how someone got to a particular page, you can only surmise. Also, if I clicked on a video and then immediately closed it, my browsing history would still say I "watched" the video. Even if the video downloaded fully, it's no guarantee that he watched it. Quite frequently, I'll pause a video to allow it to download fully before I begin watching it. My browsing history has no concept of whether or not I watched it fully or watched 2 seconds and then closed it.

Re:Here's the problem I have with this... (1)

Asmodaie (1823348) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276206)

It is even worse. How do you distinguish browsing history from one person between another. By IP?

What if:

  • You are given false records by an IT department?
  • You are tracking not a person but everyone who has access to his router?
  • You are tracking not a person but everyone who has access to his computer?
  • You are tracking not a person but everyone who has remote access to his hacked browser?

The only manner in which browsing can have any legal standing is someone was there and actually saw you do it.

I.e. I used to be a teacher on a college. How many students or even colleagues do you think are up to a prank and just start downloading Nikki Underwear's finest from your computer? And that is without even going into the many reasons people might have some sick attempt to damage another.

Racy Movie (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276034)

For those interested, the movie in question was called "H P Lovecraft" but due to a virus was replaced with some sort of cephalopod-related porn movie.

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