Noose Tightens (a Little) at HP

Tonight the WSJ is reporting that not only did insiders at HP know about the pretexting tactics being deployed by contractors in the company’s boardroom leak investigation, at least one HP official had told his manager that such tactics may be illegal.

Specifically, Fred Adler, an official in H-P’s global security office in Roseville, Calif., wrote that acquiring people’s phone records through false pretenses could be against the law, these people said. H-P has since admitted that investigators working for the company used such a method, known as pretexting, in obtaining phone records of its directors, two H-P employees, nine journalists and an unspecified number of outsiders.

It is unclear who in H-P’s management received the warning from Mr. Adler, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent. Mr. Adler’s unit is headed by Jim Fairbaugh, H-P’s head of global security, whom people close to the matter have said worked on the leak probe.

So, we’re back to the old debate again: What did HP’s Patricia Dunn know, what should she have known, etc. I’m assuming Adler told Fairbaugh, who was almost certainly talking to HP’s head of legal affairs, as well as Ms. Dunn.