While HP's stock flutters near its 52-week high (apparantly unscathed by PatriciaGate), other forces are conspiring to blow a dark cloud over the company with the biggest "kick me" sign on it's back. The dust had barely settled from the California Attorney General's office having announced yesterday that it could be filing charges within the week when more news news about the affair came to light. But first, according to a news report carried on ZDNet yesterday, CA AG Bill Lockyer said:
We currently have sufficient evidence to indict people both within HP as well as contractors on the outside, Lockyer said in an interview aired Tuesday on the Public Broadcasting Service's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."...."Crimes have been committed," Lockyer said. "People's identities being taken falsely is a crime. People gaining access to computer records that have personal information, in California, that's a crime."
People within HP? The AG's statement can only mean one of two things. Either Patricia Dunn herself is going to be indicted (perhaps on the grounds that she "gained" access to computer records that have personal information), or there were more people at HP that we don't know about yet that played a significant role in the privacy transgressions against news reporters, HP directors, and now, HP employees. Did you say employees David? Yes, I did. In a video message distributed internally to HP staff, Patricia Dunn came clean on the fact that two HP employees were also targeted by the investigations she ordered. Either way, Dunn's continued presence on the board (she only stepped down from the chairwoman's post but she will remain as a director) seems very odd to me.