A former reporter identified as “Diane” offered Hewlett Packard’s private detectives several strategies for tricking reporter Dawn Kawamoto of CNET News.com into revealing her source, according to congressional documents reviewed by the AP. One of Diane’s strategies was to have an anonymous source send Kawamoto a tip with some unannounced HP news. The news would be offered to Kawamoto two days prior to its release so that it would have more of an insider feel, according to a Feb. 6 e-mail from Ronald DeLia of Security Outsourcing Solutions. HP e-mailed Kawamoto an advance copy of a news release from the company’s PR chief, Bob Sherbin, that contained a tracer that would enable private detectives to see to whom she forwarded the release. Sherbin told the AP he didn’t know anything about the tracer. However, the tracer was approved by CEO Mark Hurd and then-Chairwoman Pattie Dunn, according to a Feb. 9 e-mail from Dunn. Hurd has denied approving the tracer. Read the entire story for details on the trick HP wanted to play on Kawamoto.

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