The legitimate corporate governance issues that prompted the leak investigation by Hewlett-Packard has fallen from the front pages, now covered with the long expected indictments by the California Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, who is a current candidate for State Treasurer. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Lockyer is charging various parties, from HP’s Patricia Dunn to the individuals who obtained the telephone records, with violations of several criminal statutes. The complaint lists the accusations.
The Federal Trade Commission testified last week on telephone record acquisition before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Joel Winston, an FTC Associate Director, requested that Congress “enact specific prohibitions against telephone records pretexting and to allow the Commission to seek civil penalties against violators…” Winston advocated for an exemption for law enforcement, which have been among the recipients of the data broker’s services, according to those who previously testified before Congress. A law enforcement privilege could further disadvantage criminal defendants, whose representatives would not be accorded the same access.