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Documents: HP's internal pretexting dialogue

Check out highlights (and lowlights) in 700 pages of e-mails, IMs and more between executives and private investigators.

The attempt to unearth a news leak at Hewlett-Packard has dragged the company into a national scandal and could land some of the company's former executives in prison.

Enclosed are the more than 700 pages of documents that HP turned over to a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that last month held a hearing on the HP investigation. Here are e-mails, reports, memos and notes written by the leak hunters themselves. Judge for yourself if CEO Mark Hurd knew what the company's investigators were up to or whether former HP chairman Patricia Dunn was a conspirator in a criminal endeavor, as California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has alleged.

In September, HP disclosed that the company obtained private phone records belonging to journalists, company employees and board directors. The company's sleuths used false pretenses to obtain the records, as well as some of the victim's Social Security numbers. Lockyer has charged five people, including Dunn, with four felonies.

Birth of a spying operation

These documents are from the early part of the investigation--Kona I--and include background checks of a number of people, including directors and reporters, as well as a time line put together by investigators that attempts to try and draw some connections.

Launching an e-mail sting

These documents, from the later phase of HP's investigation--Kona 2--include invoices from Action Research Group, apparently for research on phone records. Also included are e-mails among HP's investigative team about phone record searches and an e-mail sting of CNET reporter Dawn Kawamoto.

Dumpster diving and newsroom spy planting

These documents, from Kona 2, include presentation slides dated Feb. 2, 2006, that discuss a number of investigative techniques, including going through trash, physical surveillance, as well as "feasibility studies" for undercover operations at CNET and The Wall Street Journal. They also include more e-mail messages from the investigative team.

Tailing journalists, despite warnings

The documents include a Feb. 10 draft report from Security Outsourcing Solutions to HP that details, among other things, the physical surveillance of CNET reporter Dawn Kawamoto and of former director George Keyworth. They also include instant-message logs of conversations between HP spokesman Mike Moeller and a Wall Street Journal reporter. In addition, there is a March 10 draft report of the investigation that was sent to former Chairman Patricia Dunn, CEO Mark Hurd and former General Counsel Ann Baskins. Finally, the materials include a March 17 e-mail in which Vince Nye questions for a second time the legality of techniques being used in the probe.

Conversation eavesdropping, Perkins resigning

These documents include a report that showed that HP investigators sat near Moeller to eavesdrop on a phone conversation. The investigators quoted Moeller saying, "I'm like a bull in a china shop, but from what I know of the CEO, he is also a bull in a china shop...It's a good thing I'm not blind with ambition or stupid." E-mails reveal that investigators were interested in finding Keyworth's laptop, which was stolen from his home in Italy. Also included here are minutes of the HP board meeting in which Dunn informed directors of the source of the leak, and board director Tom Perkins resigned.

Leaks from Keyworth, pressure from Perkins

Among these documents is an executive summary that lists all the methods used by HP investigators and how they determined that Keyworth was the source of the leak. E-mails from Perkins to business associates show that he believed that Dunn had "overreacted" to the leaks. A letter from Perkins to HP's board spells out his intent to go public with the reason for his resignation: the company's "likely unlawful investigation."

Findings of irregularities in investigation

Inside is a report from law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati into HP's leak probe. The firm found that HP investigators used Social Security numbers that "more likely than not violates federal law."

Phone records

These documents include invoices from the investigators for telephone records obtained for such people as former HP Chief Executive Carly Fiorina and CNET reporter Dawn Kawamoto. The phone numbers are redacted. Also included is an interview with former HP General Counsel Ann Baskins by Wilson Sonsini attorneys.

HP's investigators offer their side of events

This batch of documents features interviews taken by HP's outside legal counsel of private investigator Ron DeLia, former Chairman Patricia Dunn, Director of Global Security Jim Fairbaugh, Senior Counsel Kevin Hunsaker, Security Manager Tony Gentilucci and CEO Mark Hurd. Also included are e-mails from members of an HP investigation team celebrating the finding of calls made from the cell phone of former HP director George Keyworth to Kawamoto.