Just when you thought the Hewlett Packard scandal was beginning to read like a dime-store fiction novel, now it's starting to take on some Oscar-winning twists. As one privacy watchdog group's deputy director put it, "If you'd laid this out as a science fiction story, it'd be hard to believe it's true." The Washington Post got a hold of some more internal HP e-mails. And what do they reveal?
Internal e-mails show senior HP employees who were given the task of identifying anonymous news sources concocted a fictitious, high-level HP tipster who sent bogus information to a San Francisco reporter in an attempt to trick her into revealing her sources.Do read the article, and the Wall Street Journal's story -- according to "a person familiar with the H-P probe" a WSJ reporter was followed by HP investigators for several months earlier this year -- it all sounds more like a Tom Clancy novel than actual reality.
The e-mail sting operation, which was part of a wide-ranging two-part HP investigation that began in March 2005 and ended in May 2006, is the latest in a series of deceptive and possibly illegal tactics that reveal the lengths to which HP went to spy on people inside and outside the company to protect its image and secrets.