HP pretexting debacle and reality journalism

The methods that HP contractors used to secure telephone call logs, “the pretext story”, repeated ad infinitum, has reporters looking for new approaches to this story. The San Jose Mercury News has posted the transcript of a call to Verizon Wireless from 1st Source Information Specialists. It’s an odd selection for an example of a pretext from an information broker since no personal information appears to have been released. Perhaps Verizon’s interest in providing the telephone conversation text is to bolster their position that they are taking effective measures to foil non subscriber access to accounts.

The investigation of the Hewlett-Packard contractors who secured the telephone call logs of phone numbers registered to reporters and HP directors is revealing footprints in Florida, Massachusetts and Iowa, which could lead to investigations and prosecutions by those states Attorneys General.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to Hewlett-Packard
requesting that the company turn over documents listing employees and contractors involved in the leak probe, and “a list of all individuals or entities whose telephone records or other personal consumer information were procured…” The letter specifically requested that no telephone records be provided. I guess the House committee doesn’t want that to become a public record.

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