Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006

Even Your Garbage Isn't Private Anymore

Earlier in the year published a story that mentioned the long-term direct sales strategy of Hewlett-Packard. The story happened to contain details that were supposed to remain in the hush zone. To determine who leaked the goods, HP CEO Patricia Dunn hired a team of consultants to use a method called pretexting or identity misrepresentation to get the phone records of several HP board members and nine journalists. The firm even rummaged through the garbage of Wall Street Journal reporter Pui-Wing Tam in order to find out which board director was leaking to the press. Dunn then testified to a House Committee that she had no idea pretexting involved identity misrepresentation. But that wasn't enough for her to keep her job and she is expected to step down from her position on Jan. 18 during the next HP board meeting.