The extent of Hewlett Packard’s spying on reporters seems to be dribbling out, day by day, with one unbelievable headline after another. Here’s this morning’s shocker: The New York Times says HP conducted feasibility studies on planting spies in the San Francisco news bureaus of CNET and the Wall Street Journal as part of an investigation of leaks from its board. Plans called for placing investigators posing as clerical employees or janitors in the offices of the two publications. Documents indicate that Chairwoman Patricia Dunn was told that investigators had plans for the “placement of agent in close proximity to the person of interest.” It is not known whether the plan was implemented. The story is based on an anonymous source who was briefed about the spying operation. CNET reported yesterday that its reporters who were spied upon by HP were briefed by government investigators about the HP case. Among the nine reporters targeted by HP was John Markoff of the New York Times.
Also, the Washington Post reported that HP CEO Mark Hurd personally approved a “sting” operation where private detectives would ure the reporter to open an e-mail attachment with software that would let HP see where the e-mail was forwarded, hoping it would pinpoint board member George Keyworth as the source. Keyworth has since resigned from the HP board.
Previous PPC postings:
- Sept. 7 — HP obtained phone records of 9 journalists
Sept. 8 — HP chair distances herself from spies
Sept. 9 — Nine reporters in HP scandal identified
Sept. 11 — Sampling of columns and op-eds on the HP scandal
Sept. 11 — DOJ to probe HP’s ‘pretext’ activities
Sept. 12 — Ex-HP board member Perkins enjoys press coverage
Sept. 12 — HP done with Dunn as board chair
Sept. 13 — The upside of spying by HP
Sept. 15 — ZDNet: Why isn’t Dunn out of HP now?
Sept. 15 — Eshoo committee to probe HP scandal
Sept. 15 — HP even targeted its own spokesman
Sept. 17 — HP spying more elaborate than first thought
Sept. 19 — HP probed reporters before they published