3-month sentence for spying on reporters

Bryan Wagner, right, stands next to Mathew DePante and Ronald DeLia in a San Jose courtroom in October 2006. Photo by Paul Sakuma of AP. The scandal over Hewlett-Packard’s scheme to spy on journalists ended Thursday when a former private investigator was sentenced to three months in jail to one count of aggravated identity theft. Bryan Wagner is the only figure in the case to get any jail time in the scandal that began in 2005 when then-HP Chairwoman Patricia

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Pleas sealed in HP spying case

A father-and-son private detective team, charged in a scheme by HP executives to spy on reporters, have entered pleas in federal court in San Jose — but a judge has sealed their pleas. That’s according to CNET’s Michelle Meyers, one of the few reporters still covering the HP “pretexting” scandal which came to light in September 2006. Meyers said it is unclear why U.S. District Judge D. Lowell Jensen of San Jose agreed to keep secret the pleas of Matthew

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Private investigators in HP spying case may get jail time, company execs skated

Dunn The HP execs who told their security personnel to snoop on reporters covering the company were either let off the hook or given hand-slaps. But the Florida father-and-son team of private investigators who were hired by a contractor for HP went before U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of San Jose on Wednesday (Nov. 9), where their plea agreement (which is apparently secret) was discussed. CNET quotes Judge Koh as saying, “There’s no reason to do this hastily.” It’s only

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Ex-HP chair walks in reporter spying case

Dunn A San Jose judge today dropped the charges against former Hewlett-Packard board Chairwoman Patricia Dunn, who was accused of orchestrating a program to spy on Bay Area journalists and fellow board members, according to the AP. Five other defendants in the case will avoid jail by pleading no contest to misdemeanors and performing community service. The charges were dismissed by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Ray Cunningham who said Dunn’s fight with ovarian cancer was one factor that

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Prosecution lines up key witness in HP case

Wagner If you were disappointed at the $14 million hand-slap Hewlett Packard got from California Attorney General Bill Lockyer for spying on journalists, there’s an indication that the criminal case in Santa Clara County might not go as well for the Palo Alto company. That’s because a private detective who used the stolen Social Secuirty numbers of journalists to obtain their phone records for HP pleaded guilty today (Jan. 12) and will become a prosecution witness. The AP reports that

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Scheer: Pretexting is also a journalist’s tool

Peter Scheer (pictured), executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition, warns in this commentary that journalists should go slow in condemning Hewlett Packard for using “pretexting” (pretending to be someone you’re not in an investigation) in its investigation of boardroom leaks. “While pretexting has all the hallmarks of fraudulent misrepresentation, let us remember that it is also a valuable technique of investigative reporting,” Scheer writes. “Examples include: posing as a home-buyer to test whether real estate brokers and mortgage

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Arrest warrants issued for 5 HP figures

Dunn BULLETIN, 3:22 p.m., Oct. 4 — Bay City News is reporting that arrest warrants have been issued for former Hewlett Packard chairwoman Patricia Dunn, 53, (pictured), former HP “ethics officer” Kevin Hunsaker, 41, and private investigators Ronald Delia, 56, Matthew Depante, 26, and Bryan Wagner, 29. They were charged in connection with a scandal in which HP obtained phone records of its board members, nine journalists, two HP employees and the families of those people. Dunn provided private investigators

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Verizon, Cingular sue over HP pretexting

Top Hewlett Packard executives might be confused about whether pretexting is illegal, but two phone companies aren’t. Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless filed lawsuits Friday against investigators hired by HP, alleging they used fraud to obtain billing records in a probe of boardroom leaks. Pretexting is when an investigator poses as a phone company customer and tricks the company into providing customer records. The pretexter ususally needs the Social Security number of the victim. Verizon’s suit, filed in New Jersey,

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New California law prohibits pretexting

Just in case you thought that posing as another person and using their Social Security number to obtain their phone records might be legal, California has officially made the practice illegal. Apparently people like former Hewlett Packard chairwoman Patricia Dunn were convinced that such activities, called “pretexting,” were legal, or so she told a Congressional subcommittee on Thursday when asked to explain how her company got the phone records of nine reporters, seven HP board members and the relatives of

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ZDNet: Why isn’t Dunn out of HP now?

Dunn Russell Shaw, in his ZDNet column, says the mainstream media have gotten the story about Patricia Dunn’s (pictured) ouster from Hewlett Packard “completely wrong.” He says that since she was “front and center in a full-blown scandal that has involved HP using investigators using shady ‘pretexting’ practices to pry into the personal calling records of nine reporters” why is the media content with her remaining as chairwoman until January, and with her remaining on HP’s board after that. Shaw

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