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By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2006-09-29 Print this article Print

Subcommittee members were skeptical of Dunns claims that she knew few details of how those investigators were operating, pointing to a series of e-mails, memos and PowerPoint slides they produced that seemed to show that Dunn was heavily involved in the details of the operation, named "Kona II," after a vacation she took in Hawaii. One of those documents was a Feb. 7 e-mail from HP security official Vince Nye to Hunsaker questioning the legality and ethical nature of the pretexting. In addition, Fred Adler, HPs computer security investigator, testified that he was troubled by the methods being used and that he urged company executives to stop the practice and that the information obtained from it not be used.
Other documents released during the hearing indicated that Hunsaker and the outside investigators several times told Dunn and Baskins that the methods being used were legal.
"This was a plumbers operation that would make Richard Nixon blush if he were alive," Dingell said, comparing the scandal to Watergate. During his testimony, Hurd again apologized for the conduct of the investigation, but, like Dunn, said he was unaware of the details until relatively recently. "What began as a proper and serious inquiry of leaks to the press of sensitive company information from within the HP board became a rogue investigation that violated HPs own principles and values," according to Hurds prepared testimony. "There is no excuse for this." Hurd, who said during a press conference Sept. 22 that he failed to read an 18-page memo in March on the investigation, testified that there were several times he missed opportunities to learn details of the initiative. Click here to read Mark Hurds first public comments on the scandal. "Im the one who is ultimately responsible," he said, adding that HPs founders would have been appalled at what has happened. Hurd also promised that he would continue to seek out those responsible, and to find out what really happened. "We will get to the bottom of this," Hurd said, "and it will never happen again." Panel members clearly were frustrated by the lack of details. "HP seems to be suffering from the Sgt. Schultz syndrome," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., quoting from a character on the TV show "Hogans Heroes." "I heard nothing, I saw nothing, I knew nothing." Reuters contributed to this report. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazineÔÇÖs Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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