04 October 2006

HP emails not good for Hunsaker

BusinessWeek has published Hewlett-Packard internal emails that shed light on HP's pretexting investigation of reporters and board members, and they don't put the company in a favorable light.

In this email exchange (pdf) in January between Kevin Hunsacker (ex-HP Chief Ethics Officer) and Anthony Gentilucci, Hunsaker asks "how does Ron [DeLia] get cell and home and cell phone records, and whether the investigation is above board. Gentilucci writes: "[the investigators] call operators under some ruse, to obtain the call record over the phone .... In essence, the Operator shouldn't give it out, and that person is liable in some sense. Ron [DeLia] can describe the operation obviously better ... since he, and others, have been using it..." He continues, "I think its on the edge, but above board."

Hunsaker responds "I probably shouldn't have asked ..."

In this exchange in early February (pdf) Vince Nye writes to Gentilucci "As I understand Ron [DeLia]'s methodology in obtaining this phone record information it leaves me with the opinion that it is very unethical at the least and probably illegal. If it is not totally illegal, then it is leaving HP in a position of [sic] that could damage our reputation or worse. I am requesting that we cease this phone number

Vince Nye and Fred Adler express their serious concerns about DeLia's methods in this email conversation in early February. Nye, writing to Adler, says "[DeLia's] information is two [sic] detailed to be obtained via voice over the phone by a pretense operative ..." possibly indicating web access to detailed phone records that board member Tom Perkins complained about in his letter to HP. Adler responds "Agreed, I am VERY concerned about the legality of this information." Nye responds, "it is very clear that this is `Don't ask, Don't tell' with regards to Ron's role."

Nye continues by quoting Kevin Hunsaker, HP's Chief Ethics Officer, as saying "I think Ann [Baskins, HP counsel] knows." Nye adds "Kevin Thinks ....... he doesn't want to go make sure she knows... This is the guy who is suppose to keep us above board!!!!!!!!"

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