Hewlett Packard was so anxious to plug news leaks that a CNET reporter who simply called the company’s spokesman for a comment was targeted by the company’s investigators before the reporter’s story was published, CNET.com reports. It had been previously thought that HP began spying on reporters after CNET’s Tom Krazit published a story on Jan. 23 on private discussions at an HP board meeting. But government investigators told Krazit that his phone records were accessed by HP’s detectives on Jan. 20, the day he asked company spokesman Robert Sherbin for a comment on the board meeting. Sherbin said he doesn’t remember who he notified about his conversation with Krazit, but said he had been asked to flag other HP officials about news leaks. The CNET story also says that Dawn Kawamoto’s phone records were obtained by HP on Jan. 17, and that she was physically followed by the company’s detectives in February. Documents the government has obtained from HP include a surveillance photo of Kawamoto.

HALL OF FAME: The CNET story also notes that HP board member Patricia Dunn (pictured), who has agreed to step down as chairwoman because of the spying scandal, is scheduled to be inducted tonight (Sept. 20) into the Bay Area Business Hall of Fame by the Bay Area Council, a local business and civic organization.

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