HP in phone record pretexting scandal

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is embroiled in a scandal over the alleged illegal investigation of its own board members over leaks from the board to the press. The company admits that it hired private investigators and that they used pretexting to get private phone records of its own directors. 'Pretexting' is where someone pretends to be the customer when calling the phone company to get their phone records. It is illegal in the state of California.

The aim of the HP investigation was to find out which director(s) had leaked information to journalists. Venture Capitalist investor Tom Perkins resigned from the board on May 22, 2006 over the issue and requested that HP look into the methods used in its leak inquiry. The Federal Communications Commission is looking into phone companies who may have supplied the phone records illegally under California law.