HP chairman called to Washington over spying scandal

A congressional sub-committee has asked Hewlett-Packard chairman Patricia Dunn and the company’s general counsel Ann Baskins to appear at a 28 September hearing about the firm’s surveillance methods.

A congressional sub-committee has asked Hewlett-Packard chairman Patricia Dunn and the company’s general counsel Ann Baskins to appear at a 28 September hearing about the firm’s surveillance methods.

They have been requested to attend in light of the spying scandal that has engulfed the company.

Dunn has already agreed to step down as chairman in January as a result of the scandal and two other HP directors have resigned in the fall-out.

HP has admitted using the method of pretexting to get access to the phone records of board directors, journalists and less senior employees at the firm as part of its attempt to plug media leaks from the boardroom.

Dunn is said to have overseen the investigation which involved an outside firm being used in the operation, who is then said to have sub-contracted the pretexting part of the process to other investigators.

Pretexting sees people pretending to be the legitimate customers of phone companies to enable them to get phone records.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce has also requested that HP outside counsel Larry Sonsini and outside investigator Ronald DeLia attend the 28 September hearing.

DeLia helps to run the small Security Outsourcing Solutions company, the firm employed by HP to run its investigation.

None of the four asked to attend the hearing have confirmed they will appear. The committee has not issued subpoenas.

State prosecutors in California say they already have evidence to prosecute HP employees over the spying, and the FBI and federal prosecutors are also studying the case.


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