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HP Spying More Elaborate Than Reported

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the an-inventer's-garage-meets-keystone-kops dept.

131

theodp writes "The NY Times reports the secret investigation of news leaks at HP was more elaborate than previously reported. In addition to illicitly gathering private phone records almost from the start, detectives reportedly followed and videotaped some directors and journalists, were given photos of reporters to help identify them, and tried to plant surveillance software on a CNET reporter's computer. HP also fessed up to spying on its own spokesman, whose personal phone records were taken."

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More News (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16129544)

This just in, Patricia Dunn has been discovered to be more evil than Hitler and Stalin ... combined.

More at eleven.

Re:More News (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16129563)

Re:More News (2, Funny)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130437)

I believe that torture, nay, gruesome inquisition! and Guantanamo is TOO GOOD for these despicable insurgents who tried to make information from HP public. Unless we can control the release of information - by any means possible! - we cannot sustain freedom and democracy! -- What? -- "It's only HP, you stupid bugger!" --- OH. OOOPS. Hey, Dick, don't shoot that reporter in the face! It's only HP! Geeze, clearing brush is so much simpler than this job.

Re:More News (1)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130605)

"I believe that torture, nay, gruesome inquisition! and Guantanamo is TOO GOOD for these despicable insurgents"

I agree. We should force them to rely upon an HP Omnibook for their daily tasks.

If I have to suffer, I feel better knowing its a shared experience.

Re:More News (0)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130809)

This just in, Patricia Dunn has been discovered to be more evil than Hitler and Stalin ... combined.
So are Hitler and Stalin now the 'low end' of what is considered to be evil. Does one need to exceed their crimes to be evil? Does a person need to kill more than 20 million people to be evil? I think not. Greedy, lying, and manipulative is enough for me. Hopefully prosecutors will find a way to put that woman in jail for a couple of months.

Re:More News (2, Insightful)

rbunker (1003580) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131165)

Nah... her behavior is obnoxious, and probably illegal, but her body count so far is zero. Between Stalin and Hitler you can pretty conservatively come up with 60,000,000 dead. She is a piker compared to them.

fsrit s00pt!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16129547)

fsrit s00pt!!

Who does HP think they are? (5, Funny)

mhazen (144368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129571)

I certainly didn't vote for them in 2004.

Re:Who does HP think they are? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16129607)

Ahh, the beauty of Slashdot, where an off-topic Bush-bashing can always be expected to occur within the first five posts.

Re:Who does HP think they are? (2)

mhazen (144368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129654)

No, I'd have said the same about whoever was in office if the same things happened under a different president.

Now quit reading from the Fox News scorecard, and start thinking for yourself.

Re:Who does HP think they are? (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130527)

Let me see you stripped...
Let me see you stripped...

Let me see you make de-cisions
without your tele-visions...

Let me see you stripped...

Re:Who does HP think they are? (1)

serano (544693) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129925)

I certainly didn't vote for them in 2004.

I did. I bought a new HP OfficeJet in 2004.

It's Not an Election! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16130627)

I certainly didn't vote for them in 2004.
HP doesn't elect their officials. It's a much more complicated process involving the ritualistic slaughter of virgins to their god Baal. The first one to successfully sacrifice ten virgins is given the position of chairperson of the board in a very unholy ritual.

Being one (albeit very unattractive) of the few females in an IT company, Dunn had only to walk down a row of cubicles with a sock full of paperweights before she won.

News Flash... (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129576)

So did HP take a secret contract from the Bush Administration to become a covert version of the FBI/CIA/NSA without any government oversight? News at 11!

Re:News Flash... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16129731)

So did HP take a secret contract from the Bush Administration to become a covert version of the FBI/CIA/NSA without any government oversight? News at 11!

Well, we COULD answer that question, but then we'd have to kill you.

Re:News Flash... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130223)

Well, we COULD answer that question, but then we'd have to kill you.
Well OK but it better be worth it.

Re:News Flash... (1)

dalewj (187278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130584)

well if the US government does it why not a very large corporation. Im a parent, I know if i do something i can't nearly be as mad at my children for doing it also.

Re:News Flash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131017)

So if your 12-year-old drives your car to the store and tries to buy beer, you can't really get mad... what kind of a parent are you???

Re:News Flash... (1)

exitstageleft (885603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131205)

The kind where everyone is equal and the Earth is our mother.

NEWS FLASH: Muslims offended... AGAIN. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16129827)

Islamic pundits work feverishly to pervert the facts and manufacture outrage. Rioting, burning, and murder ensues. The rest of the world cowers in fear and clings helplessly to the shattered chimera of the so-called "moderate" Muslim. Insert date and location as appropriate.

Will anyone care? (5, Interesting)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129590)

The interesting question is, will anyone care enough about this to stop doing business with HP? Will any major corporate clients reject these practices and refuse to deal with a company that engages in them?

I'm guessing not.

There will be a few people punished in a very public fashion, while behind the scenes this sort of behavior becomes commonplace.

Maybe it's just Monday Morning talking here, but I hope I'm wrong.

Re:Will anyone care? (4, Insightful)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129659)

Unfortunately, you are correct, I work in a large corp/gov enviroment, the data center has been standardized on HP server products. With all that invested in a product, (not just the product but the support infrastructure), it would take years to change over to new hardware. I dont see that happening, not to mention the fact that HP proliant servers are quality equipment.

Re:Will anyone care? (4, Interesting)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129763)

With all that invested in a product, (not just the product but the support infrastructure), it would take years to change over to new hardware.

I am working on this type of migration right now. We are moving all applications to one vendor's hardware platform (and virtualizing it all). Our timeline on this project is 3 years. We could complete the task much more quickly, but we are being hamstrung by customer internal processes.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

SpiritGod21 (884402) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131034)

We're moving from HP to Toshiba, but for capitalistic rather than politic reasons. Who cares what HP does to deliver the bottom line? That's their business.* The problem is that the bottom line isn't good enough, and the Toshiba all-in-ones we've gotten are superior to HP. When it comes to end-users, the politics are irrelevant when compared to the price tag and the quality.

*This is assuming a capitalistic standpoint inherent in most (sic) US businesses. Surely some businesses will care about politics, but I certainly don't know any. Personally, I work for a state university and we're focused on getting the most bang for our buck, if you will. We've had a long-standing contract with HP and continue to use their printers, but people are slowly becoming more dissatisfied with them and looking for a more all-inclusive solution for (comparitively) less money.

Re:Will anyone care? (4, Insightful)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129669)

No, I cannot imagine customers will care. And since customers won't care its unlikely investors will care too much. Some investors could be a bit shaken by news and shakeup but I don't see institutional investors (they really drive the market) getting to worked up over this. Longterm its hard to see this having any real effect on the company. Probably the biggest danger would be the SEC finding bigger corporate goverancne issues related to this (not filing 100% accurate documents, etc). I haven't seen anything yet that is too likely to get them in enough trouble with the SEC to cause any real problems, but with the congress getting involved etc there could be some pressure to make an example (don't really see that happening to HP though). The SEC coming down harshly could be enough to get the large investors to pull back a bit. All in all I'd guess your correct. Probably the fallout will mainly be limited to those individuals involved.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129721)

...or ticking off journalists enough that they consistently give HP negative press.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129748)

Thats a really good point ;-) I'm really not thinking this is probably all that unusual (sadly). However, if you do stuff like this to the press.... boy look out! I guess thats probably a good thing. I guess it helps protect freedom of the press when you see all the crap you'll get if you mess with them ;-)

Re:Will anyone care? (5, Insightful)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129742)

I think that the reaction to this is in part wrong. Lets note that the it was select individuals who were doing this... and not all of HP. Certainly, in this case the problems came from the top, but in that it has also been handled and said parties are stepping down.

In something like this, I don't think you should blame the whole company and try to take it out on HP as a whole. The perpetrators in this instance are quite identifiable, and it is they who should be taken to task.

What should we expect of HP? More oversight in how they handle their internal leak hunts, etc. Also, to do some work cleaning up their image after this and distancing themselves from those involved. Well, and other things. My point is, why would it make sense to try and punish the company as a whole for this?

And no, I don't work for HP. It just doesn't make sense to me to blame this on the whole company, as there are tons of great people that work there.

Re:Will anyone care? (5, Insightful)

maxd24 (748480) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129766)

Sorry, but these aren't just a few employees, these are board members. They define the direction of the company. In effect, they ARE the company. You're correct that the individuals who work for HP are not to blame, but the corporation as an entity made a decision to conduct business in an illegal fashion. Whatever happens (and I don't expect it to be much) should happen to the corporate entity.

Re:Will anyone care? (2, Insightful)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130347)

Sorry, but these aren't just a few employees, these are board members.
And the guilty members are stepping down and also under investigation by law enforcement officials. What more do you want? Perhaps you'd like to completely ruin HP so that they can lay off more employees? Personally, I'd be satisfied to see the guilty spend some time in prison and pay heavy fines that take a sizeable chunk out of their personal assets. And I doubt any sane company would ever put them in a leadership position again. Although if that were to happen, I'd support boycotting _that_ company.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130482)

And the guilty members are stepping down and also under investigation by law enforcement officials. What more do you want?



So far I've seen only one off the board, and another given a move (might even be considered a promotion). There certainly were more than 2 board members who knew what was going on (if not, there certainly should have been, and the others should be removed for negligence).

Several folks should go to jail on this one if the reports are true and they went as far as 'hacking' journalists computers. The rest should be booted from the company entirely, not shuffled around.

If they clean house I'd be satisfied. That's what more I want. People on the board should have ethics to go by, and not turn a blind eye towards something they 'don't want to know the details about'.

Re:Will anyone care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16130975)

> they went as far as 'hacking' journalists computers.

The extent of the "hacking" was to use a unique ID in a URL in an email sent to a reporter. A web bug, something that pretty much every marketing type of email uses. Hardly a l33t crack. And the link was supposedly never even opened.

I want Dunn and company to do the perpwalk, but let's have them do it for actual crimes.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131246)

If they clean house I'd be satisfied. That's what more I want. People on the board should have ethics to go by, and not turn a blind eye towards something they 'don't want to know the details about'.
OK, placed in this context, I completely agree with you.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130779)

" Sorry, but these aren't just a few employees, these are board members.

And the guilty members are stepping down and also under investigation by law enforcement officials. What more do you want?
"

Remember that GP posted that "Lets note that the it was select individuals who were doing this... and not all of HP."

GP makes it sound like it was Bob in accounting, Mary in sales, and perhaps VP Gary who had knowledge about it.

This was just a few 'rogue employees', these were members of the board. The leaders. Titans of the Industry. Role models. Powerful, respectable people. I think what the poster wants is some recognition that these aren't just 'select individuals' but board members of one of the biggest companies in the world. This is a huge scandal.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

ZTiger (682967) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129796)

I won't blame HP yet. However if they keep these people on board then my trust in this is diminished and I wouldn't be purchasing some of their goods. I've already got bones to pick with them on their proprietary ink. If I start questioning how they treat privacy then it is a good beat I will look elsewhere for my business needs.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130510)

AFAIK, Dunn is stepping down as Chairwoman, but will retain a place on the board of directors...

Re:Will anyone care? (4, Insightful)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130285)

We live in a corporatist society. When a company can lobby governemt, donate to political parties, and so on, it's natural that we should react to their behavior as we would an individual who'd done wrong.


We don't admonish people's hands when they steal, we do so to the whole person (and we address our comments to the head, or boardroom in this case).


I agree that the specificly guilty parties should wear this, but corporations cannot have it both ways; either they're an entity, responible for all their actions, or they're a bunch of people in the same building, and they can start asking favours of their congressman individually.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130887)

They are not stepping down. That's misleading to say that they are stepping down. What happened was that the Chairperson named Patricia Dunn has simply moved into a director's position and the CEO is taking control of the board. No one else is out except the guy they were trying to find (and did). Nothing he said nor did was enough justify what they did to all those people.

Yes, people are being pursued by law enforcement except you know they are the ones thrown to the wolves that are going to get it not the top level decision makers who instigated the whole matter. I'm sure the guy in charge of their security feels pretty bad that he did his job as the board perscribed it and now he's being thrown out to the wolves. Employees do not just take unilateral action by themselves, they are directed by others above them.

Re:Will anyone care? (4, Interesting)

_damnit_ (1143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131100)

If what you said were true, I'd be inclined to agree. The people involved have NOT been punished. The Chairwoman will keep her position until January at which point she will step down but KEEP HER DIRECTOR SEAT. The CEO Mr. Hurd, a director as well, was an informed and complicit participant in the decision as much as the Chairwoman. HE WILL BECOME CHAIRMAN. Another director resigned in protest of the investigation. His symbolic resignation intended to be an embarassing slight to the board and force them to reconsider their illegal actions was covered up and not reported to the SEC as required by law.

So, the roundup on punishments:
Chairwoman moves down one slot, keeps money, perks and most of her power.
CEO moves up to chairman
Director (read: good guy) who resigned out of sense of duty: still gone from boardroom
Number of directors on the board, reduced

What should happen? I'm not sure as I don't have all the facts and I don't claim to be a lawyer. As a layman, I would expect Chairwoman Dunn to lose her seat on the board and forfeit any unvested compensation. I would hope Mr Hurd would lose his position on the board as well. The board should bring back the resigned member. The fellow who was leaking info should be removed from the board and lose compensation same as Ms Dunn. HP and other companies need strong boards. HP once had a reputation for good governance. Let's hope that returns.

BTW - I don't work for HP or really care too much about them. No emotions or money invested.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

f1055man (951955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129744)

Investors should care. HP may end up with a few of its directors resigning or in jail. Finding competent directors, and judging by HP's resurgence they have been, is not easy.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130119)

I think the investors might take a little more notice when the lawsuits hit. I know if I were a reporter and these bastards illegally tapped *MY* phone or computer, I'd sue them 'till they coughed blood.

-Eric

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130297)

Lawsuits? Yah think maybe the investors will notice when the BoD has to hold their meetings on visitor's day at a Federal PMITA prison so they can have a quorum?

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130915)

I wholeheartedly disagree. While customers might not care, future employees will. There is a great job market out there in the tech industry for experienced engineers (I'll admit the entry level one sucks). Now they will have to pay more to get the same talent.

Corporate Spying is not new (1)

iendedi (687301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129915)

The interesting question is, will anyone care enough about this to stop doing business with HP? Will any major corporate clients reject these practices and refuse to deal with a company that engages in them?
A much more interesting question is, will anyone do the research neccessary to establish whether these relationships to investigators was started with the board-leak or were they previously existing and established relationships. My point? In case it isn't clear from my first sentance, my point is that it may well turn out that this is an existing survailance program that HP uses for other purposes.

Naaa!!! No American Corporation would ever spy on people in everyday business (and HR) dealings, right?

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

christoofar (451967) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130105)

I dunno, but I was really happy when I bought an HP 3050 [kelkoo.co.uk] since it works with every OS (ok, took 20 mins to get the automatic document feeder working with Linux... but it's trivial).

Now I'm wondering if my printer is mysteriously sending all my scanned docs to the feds when I sleep at night.

Better slap a network sniffer on that baby.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

skia (100784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130180)

Far from not caring, this is what people are demanding. How are HP's actions not just an example of a corporation "adequately pursuing other possible means to identify the source of the information in question"? [slashdot.org] I can't help but think tech journalists are reaping a little of what they sowed here.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130269)

The interesting question is, will anyone care enough about this to stop doing business with HP?

Probably not, but there certainly are consequences, not the least of which are civil liabilities and the likely dismissal of the perp from HP's board at the next shareholder meeting, if she doesn't have the decency to quit before then. This fracas is going to cost her millions that she would have made if she'd kept her nose clean.

-jcr

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

outlander78 (527836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130487)

I stopped buying HP printers and products years ago when their quality slid as their costs increased.

What may be as meaningful is that when buying mutual funds recently I avoided any that had HP in their lists of large holdings. I wonder how many others avoid stocks, directly or through mutual funds, that contain the stocks of company's with scandals attached to their names, and if that reticence affects share prices? (My thinking is that when demand drops, so does the share price.)

Great Article in Fortune (1)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130747)

Dunn orchestrated the entire thing and it went off as scripted. Her intentions all along was to give up the Chairman position at the beginning of the year. She is seriously ill.

The sad part... she is no dummy and covered her tracks completely. The firm they hired to do the dirty work will take the fall.

Re:Will anyone care? (1)

Isotopian (942850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130771)

I didn't know anybody DID buy HP!

Re:Will anyone care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16130807)

FUD mode on:

'Spying', imagine that competitor of yours wanted info, - aha they think and they use HP computers = the competitor perhaps might just ring hp and ask would they investigate and pass on all that information

Fud mode off:

God bless tpm.

Re:Will anyone care? (2, Interesting)

theCat (36907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131376)

I'm not concerned that anyone will or won't buy HP products and services as a result of them hiring spies. I'm REALLY worried that every company listed in the Fortune 500 is going to see this little episode pipe itself to /dev/null and realize that while the minor PR disadvantages of getting caught in domestic spying are certainly real, these in no way outweigh the insanely STUPENDOUS advantages to be had from hiring spys in the first place. After all, these are companies that think nothing of violating securities law, violating environmental regulations, using sweatshop labor, and cheating on their taxes. What does it matter if they toss in domestic spying if that can be shown to boost profits?

I'll go a step further, and project that investors will eventually EXPECT a company to have a vigorous spy program in place to protect their investment, and will pressure Boards to adopt the practice.

Yeah, that whole thing sounds nuts, but it follows as a projection from current practices. What the hell kinda world are we living in?

They care and a boycot won't help. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131496)

The interesting question is, will anyone care enough about this to stop doing business with HP?

Busines harm, in this case is counter productive. The guilty have been embarrassed and might even be punished. No one wants to be the next Newsweek posterboy of corporate corruption and the behavior will be avoided. Anyone who tries a stunt like this gains little but puts themselves at the mercy of anyone who finds credible evidence. Corporate spying is not a core part of HP's business so crushing HP will only make their competitors fewer and stronger. Having one less place for employees to run just gives those competitors more power to abuse. It's better to punish the people responsible than it is to punish the company they abused.

Common (2, Interesting)

TheAmazingJambi (998707) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129595)

It occurs to me that this is probably a fairly common practice among companies of a certain size, to get a better handle on the sort of press they're getting. HP's just the one unlucky enough to have gotten caught this time.

Re:Common (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130586)

If it's common, we'll know about it soon. The fact that this is the
first we've heard about it makes me think that, in fact, this is
an unusual practice.

Time will tell.

How bad does it need to be? (4, Interesting)

carpeweb (949895) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129596)

Before this "even worse news" about the extent of the spying, HP's board should have forced Dunn to resign immediately from the board. Instead, they allowed her to continue as chairwoman until January and to continue as a director after that. I predict that the board will now force her immediate resignation, but will they also strip her of her directorship? What about severance? They should take it all, retroactively. IANAL, but I'll bet that's legal, somehow.

Re:How bad does it need to be? (2, Insightful)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129879)

I predict that the board will now force her immediate resignation, but will they also strip her of her directorship? What about severance? They should take it all, retroactively.

That is what they should do, but, in the world of corporate governance, that is not what happens. Remember, after HP fired Carly Fiorina, they gave her a $21 Million severance package (LINK [com.com] ). And, Carly pretty much ran HP in to the ground. While Dunn's actions are arguably worse (both in terms of HP's reputation and legality) than Carly's mis-management, the fact is that Dunn will probably get a nice big check.

I imagine that even if Dunn ends up in front of a judge and jury because of this, her lawyers will ensure she still gets paid.

Re:How bad does it need to be? (1)

carpeweb (949895) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130017)

I'm sure you're right. Plus, if it ends up in a trial, we'll see lots of buck-passing, since it appears we have lots of guilty parties with no particular loyalty to each other and reasonably "plausible deniability". On the other hand, I'm sure we also have one or two ambitious public prosecutors who would love to make their claim to fame on this one.

Who needs "reality tv"?

Re:How bad does it need to be? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130294)

Sure, Carly got her golden parachute, but she wasn't a criminal.

-jcr

Re:How bad does it need to be? (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130582)

And I hope every pennny of that and more then gets awarded to the journalists whose computers were hacked once they sue her and HP as they should.

Alright (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129648)

I've seen countless stories about this in various media outlets, and I seem to be missing the point or something. Everyone seems so shocked, and outraged by this as if it's not common place in "Corporate America". I shocked that a company actually got caught, and more so the over the top reaction of the media.

The sad part is the monitoring of a few board members is, and likely will continue to get more coverage/outrage than the Bush administration doing this to the whole country.

Re:Alright (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130154)

This goes WAY beyond "the monitoring of a few board members." They were illegally tapping reporter's phones and sabotaging their computers. That's not just wrong, it's HIGHLY ILLEGAL. In addition to the jail time which many HP execs deserve for this, I hope those reporters sue HP's ass off.

-Eric

When will people admit it's fascism? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16129665)

I am from Italy. My parents were young adults during the brief time Mussolini was in power. While many Italians dislike discussing that time period, my parents were always willing to inform people of it, in the hopes that similar situations may be avoided in the future.

This is the sort of activity that became widespread during that period. Spying was omnipresent, be it on the street, at work, or while at restaurants. Collaboration between the elites of the business world the government allowed for this sort of privacy invasion to take hold, and further promoted it as time went on. Individual freedoms were thrown out "for the sake of the nation".

The very same appears to be happening in America and other "democratic" countries these days. On one hand, you have the government spying domestically on its own citizens (the whole NSA scandal, for instance). Security cameras are being installed all over the place, from street corners to ATMs. In some countries, the cameras apparently will have loudspeakers to direct the citizenry that are being observed. Now we find that the very same sort of actions are being taken by corporate executives. Soon enough that will translate down to regular workers. In short, it's a case of fascism much like Italy experienced in the mid-20th century.

Re:When will people admit it's fascism? (1)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131176)

At least HPs servers help our trains run on time.

Irony in the details (4, Funny)

carpeweb (949895) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129682)

Well, this new story has a hidden gem.

According to TFA: "People briefed on HP's review of its internal investigation say that it was authorized by Dunn, the chairwoman, and put under the supervision of Kevin Hunsaker, a senior counsel who is the company's director of ethics."

How could it be otherwise?

A hidden gem indeed! (2, Interesting)

iendedi (687301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129943)

According to TFA: "People briefed on HP's review of its internal investigation say that it was authorized by Dunn, the chairwoman, and put under the supervision of Kevin Hunsaker, a senior counsel who is the company's director of ethics."
Imagine how much worse it would have been to put the program under a senior counsel who was not an expert in ethics!

Re:Irony in the details (1)

kilgortrout (674919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130365)

Hunsaker is the fall guy here. You can almost hear Dunn saying, "But my attorney said it was OK."

Re:Irony in the details (1, Flamebait)

jbertling1960 (982188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130375)

They put a high ranking corporate attorney in charge of ethics and somehow didn't expect something like this to happen. How do they think he rose to his position in the first place? I'll bet money it wasn't through 'ethics.'

Logistical nightmare (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129706)

HP also fessed up to spying on its own spokesman, whose personal phone records were taken.
How exactly did they fess up to that? I can just see the spokesman reading a memo to reporters..

"...and we at Hewlett Packard also regret using false pretenses to obtain the personal phone reacords of their spokesman, one Mr..... the freaking HELL?!"

Would you work for a company that does this? (2, Interesting)

chiph (523845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129723)

Like the subject line says.

Re:Would you work for a company that does this? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16129852)

You probably already do.

Re:Would you work for a company that does this? (3, Funny)

Opie812 (582663) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129954)

Cynical, *and* vaguely ominious in a 4 word sentance. Very nice.

Re:Would you work for a company that does this? (1)

BVis (267028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130408)

Also, very likely to be true.

Re:Would you work for a company that does this? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130113)

just think of the great internal and external ill-will and general hell you can raise in such a place, what fun! remember kiddies, besides the money your employer also exists for your personal amusement

Re:Would you work for a company that does this? (1)

michaelvkim (981938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130008)

Yes. That is a no-brainer. This action by the upper-level management of the company affects their press and maybe HP as a company, but it certainly won't affect my daily routine at HP if I worked there. My pay would be the same, my benefits, my project, my manager, my co-workers. It'd just be the thing to talk about for a week. I won't stand up and voice my rejections when doing so would mean my kids would starve and I can't pay the bills. If I had numerous job offers to choose from and all the freedom in the world, then your question would hold more clout.

Bene Packard (0, Offtopic)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129765)

In a related story, HP has announced that they have embarked upon a thousands of generations long breeding program, for the purpose of creating a male who can be in all places at once, to ensure their total surveillance of all things.

Re:Bene Packard (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130309)

Would that make him a "Bene-factor"?

Re:Bene Packard (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130604)

No, that would be the "Hewlett Haderach"

Re:Bene Packard (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130754)

You give me such a haderach.

Do you have an aspirin?

A tough situation (1)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129790)

One one hand, I sympathize for HP. To have a board member that fails to respect the privacy of board room material can be very hard, and the fact that he leaked that previous information was very uprofessional.

Of course, on the other hand, the way this was handled by HP was totally out of hand. Young adults walking out of business school know that to hit somebody up with a wiretap is illegal and should not be done. How is it that the chairman and the head of their Ethics group don't? So those two should definitely go away. As to anybody else remaining, it is quite hard to see what other roles were played in this. I don't think that people should take this as an indicator of what the whole company is like though.

Re:A tough situation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16129924)


One one hand, I sympathize for HP. To have a board member that fails to respect the privacy of board room material can be very hard

This is such total crap! The whistleblower should be compensated. He helped shareholders find out that they were getting dicked. The criminal Dunn should not have been allowed to use the illegally obtained evidence to dump the whistleblower. He should at least be compensated as if he were a board member for the period of time a reasonable person would expect him to remain on the board if this hadn't been discovered.

Otherwise, this is basically a warning to whistleblowers to turn a blind eye to malfeasance.

Re:A tough situation (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130135)

I read something a day or two ago that said that
the leaker only leaked stuff that was already
something that was either announced or going to
be announced publicly. I dont have a URL, unfortunately.

Re:A tough situation (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130506)

"Young adults walking out of business school know that to hit somebody up with a wiretap is illegal and should not be done."

They may know that it is illegal, I am not sure that they are taught that it should not be done. It appears that they are taught how to have illegal things done while still maintaining plausable deniability.

Re:A tough situation (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131240)


"They may know that it is illegal, I am not sure that they are taught that it should not be done. It appears that they are taught how to have illegal things done while still maintaining plausable deniability."

What law do you claim has been broken, specifically? And what evidence do you have?

I would suggest that if you investigate the HP scandal, you will find no crime.

Re:A tough situation (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131219)

"Young adults walking out of business school know that to hit somebody up with a wiretap is illegal and should not be done."

There is no evidence, or even a suggestion thus far, of any wiretapping. In fact, it is not at all clear that any actual crime has been committed by anyone involved in the HP story.

Overheard on the radio this weekend (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129805)

"HP will be changing it's slogan from 'HP: Invent' to 'HP: Indict'"

Scandal goes higher than Dunn (5, Funny)

motorcrash (309677) | more than 7 years ago | (#16129819)

According to this newly disclosed recording:

Simon: Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet your captain, Captain Oveur.
Clarence Oveur: Gentlemen, welcome aboard.
Simon: Captain, your navigator, Mr. Unger, and your first officer, Dunn.
Clarence Oveur: Unger.
Unger: Oveur.
Dunn: Oveur.
Clarence Oveur: Dunn. Gentlemen, let's get to work.
Simon: Unger, didn't you serve under Oveur in the Air Force?
Unger: Not directly. Technically, Dunn was under Oveur and I was under Dunn.
Dunn: Yep.
Simon: So, Dunn, you were under Oveur and over Unger.
Unger: Yep.
Clarence Oveur: That's right. Dunn was over Unger and I was over Dunn.
Unger: So, you see, both Dunn and I were under Oveur, even though I was under Dunn.
Clarence Oveur: Dunn was over Unger, and I was over Dunn.

Re:Scandal goes higher than Dunn (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130179)

Dunn was over Unger, and I was over Dunn.

..and neither of us was ever over Macho Grande.

-Eric

HP doesn't just spy on their own... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16130362)

Ever install any HP printer drivers lately?

NY Times Article Link (2, Interesting)

sweetnjguy29 (880256) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130401)

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/18/technology/18hp. html?ei=5094&en=0af37191eea65e08&hp=&ex=1158638400 &partner=homepage&pagewanted=print

I'm still new enough here to hate when the /. story says "a NY Times Article" but doesn't reference or link to the article. I wonder if thats supposed to be so that karma whores like me can post a link to the actual story?

Oh, and enjoy the link to the print version of the article without ads :-) And try http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/18/technology/18hp. html?hp&ex=1158638400&en=0af37191eea65e08&ei=5094& partner=homepage if ya wanna see the scarey pictures of the HP execs.

Re:NY Times Article Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16130935)

>>I'm still new enough here to hate when the /. story says "a NY Times Article"

That is because the paranoid tinfoil hat crowd dosen't like to register at NY Times for fear of losing their privacy. Ignoring that fact that the NSA and their employer and their ISP all know how much time they spend on /.

You will get over it in time.

Clicky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131063)

Clicky [nytimes.com] , Clicky [nytimes.com] .

HP's own corporate rules say... (5, Informative)

HPness (1003567) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130570)

http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/csr/sbc brochure.pdf [hp.com] This is a link to the SBC or the standards of business conduct. This was the bible of HP for many many years and it appears that although some question whether these rules are practiced at the lower levels, it appears that they are not at the higher levels either. If this was actions of any HP employee, they would be TERMINATED. This is several magnitudes more extreme of a situation. The idea is not to operate within just the language and the loopholes, but to abide by the intent of the document which is to set the stage for proper conduct with a low threshold in cases where there is any question of being appropriate. This saddens many HP employees who have worked hard to reinforce a positive image of the company which did operate on a much more noble level in the past.

Entirely Justifiable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16130629)

In this post 9/11 age, we cannot be too careful who learns our corporate secrets. We must have the means to detect terrorist spies from the media who would destroy our profitability and expose us to potential attacks.

Web beacon, or Reaper exploit? (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130676)

Representing themselves as an anonymous tipster, the detectives e-mailed a document to a CNET reporter, according to those briefed on the review. The e-mail was embedded with software that was supposed to trace who the document was forwarded to. The software did not work, however, and the reporter never wrote any story based on the bogus document.
A web beacon would report back the IP address of HTTP requests to fetch the image. This would be really boring for systems behind a NAT firewall.

So, is this a field deployment of the Carl Voth Reaper exploit [devxnews.com] ? Prudent settings on email software will prevent that from working but plenty of older popular mail clients shipped with clueless defaults.

planting software or web bug? (1)

wglass (471248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16130949)

The article says "detectives tried to plant software on at least one journalist's computer that would enable messages to be traced", but if you read the end, it sounds like they put a web bug (image link) in an email to see who the email was forwarded to.

While this investigation as a whole seems abhorent, a web bug seems less invasive (and probably less illegal) than the implied act of installing spyware on someone elses's computer.

Only bad because they were execs? (1)

Sinistar2k (225578) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131263)

Had somebody in the mailroom been outed as the leaker, would we be hearing about this at all? With all the rulings that have stated employees have no reason to expect privacy when it comes to the use of company resources (phones, e-mail, Internet use), I'm sure a lower level employee would have been easily and quietly dismissed.

But since this happened to a suit... all the other suits got scared and decided to attack?

Interesting.

A Royal Solution (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131585)

Off with their heads! There's no other suitable punishment.

Otherwise we're going to have to watch this thing unfold for months. Just end it now and let's all move on.

In summary... (1)

NotFamous (827147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131648)

Expect little, surpise much.
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