01:48 AM

Charged! California to indict Dunn, Hunsaker, private eyes

California will indict HP's Patricia Dunn and Kevin Hunsaker, as well as three outside contractors, in criminal charges stemming from the HP spying scandal, The New York Times reports.

In addition to the two executives, California attorney general Bill Lockyer will indict Ronald L. DeLia, who worked directly with Hunsaker, Joseph DePante, owner of Action Research Group and Bryan Wagner, who worked for DePante.

The charges, all felonies:

  • using of false or fraudulent pretenses to obtain confidential information from a public utility
  • unauthorized access to computer data
  • identity theft
  • conspiracy to commit each of those crimes.

The US Attorney's office for Northern California may also file charges.

Emails released

BusinessWeek has some juicy emails from and to Hunsaker during the pretexting campaign. They were released by the House committee on Monday. Check Memo #2 especially.

Reporters reassigned
CNET and AP have moved off the HP beat reporters who were pretexted, AP reports.

CNET's move involves not only Dawn Kawamoto, who was at the center of the scandal, but also Tom Krazit and Steve Shankland, who is married to AP reporter Rachel Konrad, who was also on the HP beat and was pretexted by the company.

The New York Times has barred John Markoff from covering the scandal directly but he may report on the company as part of his overall tech beat.

The rationale is to do away with conflicts of interest, as reporters whose privacy has been violated may be seen to have an axe to grind. Reporters and their companies may also have legal rights against the company that could be compromised.

But some outlets are keeping top writers with deep knowledge of the company on the beat. BusinessWeek's Peter Burrows has written a book and covered the company over many years. The move has already paid off, as Burrows scored the first interview with Hurd after Dunn was ushered out the door.

Burrows "has a deep knowledge of the company that serves BusinessWeek readers well," said Stephen J. Adler, the magazine's editor-in-chief. "He has always hewed to the highest ethical standards in his coverage of HP, and will continue to do so."

Dunn starting chemotherapy

It's been a really, really bad week for Dunn, a breast cancer survivor. Her doctor advised her to start a six-month program of chemo for advanced ovarian cancer, a source told the LA Times. She will be treated at UC San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center.