The HP Saga: Focus on the AG

14 Sep ’06

The WSJ adds to the HP saga today with new information about the progress of the California AG’s investigation, and some profile of the AG, Bill Lockyer. New details:

New details of the probe continue to emerge. In addition to scrutinizing phone records, people familiar with the matter say human and possibly video surveillance was involved; private investigators attended speeches by at least one of the company’s directors and followed this person to see if the board member met any journalists, they say. Ms. Dunn, in an e-mail to employees Tuesday, disclosed that two H-P employees had been investigated, as well as certain directors and “a number of individuals outside the company, including journalists.” An H-P spokesman declined to comment on the possible use of human and video surveillance, or to identify any people cited in Ms. Dunn’s email.

Additionally, more information on the likely charges:

Mr. Lockyer said yesterday that three state criminal statutes were involved in the investigation: illegally accessing and using computer data; accessing personal-identification information and using it for illegal purposes; and using deceit to obtain records from a utility, such as a phone company. Any of those crimes could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, he said. A misdemeanor would carry a one-year maximum prison sentence, and a felony a three-year maximum term.

Update: CNet reports that two HP employees were also pretexted, and ominously, “a number of individuals outside the company, including journalists”.

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