In the continuing sage of what is now being termed HP-Gate, the New
the story last week that those in authority at Hewlett-Packard
studied ways to insert a spy into the offices of C|Net and the Wall
Street Journal. This, as a way of finding out who was
leaking information to the two organizations and thus plug
the hole. However, it is unclear whether an effort
was ever launched to implement such a plan.
If this sounds eerily like President Nixon’s administration and some
of his “black
bag” tactics during the Watergate
scandal you could be right. And as in Watergate, this plan may be just
the tip of the iceberg. The Times
article goes on to quote HP’s manager of global investigations as
saying “We use pretext interviews on a number of investigations to
extract information…” In other words, this is not the
first time that they have used what may be illegal and certainly unethical tactics
to get information.
As these revelations trickle out, day-by-day, it really becomes a
question of why the HP board of directors are still around. It
appears many, if not all of them, should have voluntarily stepped down
when the now growing scandal first broke. Instead, all except one (who
apparently resigned as a protest against the actions of the others),
have done their best to cling to power, rather than to put the
continued health of the company before themselves.