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In the settlement, HP has agreed to pay $14.5 million to the state of California

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced that Hewlett-Packard will reportedly pay $14.5 million to settle a civil lawsuit filed by the California attorney general after HP admitted to hiring private investigators that used illegal methods to get private records on HP board members and journalists.

The actual fine is only $650,000 but the majority of the money will be used to create a California “privacy and piracy fund,” which will be used as a tool for state investigators to fight various privacy and intellectual property violations. “We are pleased to settle this matter with the attorney general, and are committed to ensuring that HP regains its standing as a global leader in corporate ethics and responsibility,” HP chief executive Mark Hurd said.

HP has also pledged to strengthen monitoring so that future investigations will strictly comply with ethical and legal standards. California state officials hope that other companies will take notice and begin to work harder to “protect confidential business information without violating corporate ethics or privacy rights.”

Along with the settlement, the state of California is looking into a possible settlement of criminal charges against Patricia C. Dunn, ousted former HP chairman. Lockyer initially filed fraud and conspiracy charges against Dunn in October for her part in the HP scandal. Dunn, along with four others involved with the scandal had felony charges filed on her in early October.



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Blackmail?
By Puddleglum1 on 12/8/2006 3:10:34 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what counts as blackmail these days, but HP just paid to not have to go to court. Admitting to doing wrong -- and then paying a huge amount of money -- doesn't seem like a proper way to bring about justice, considering the Plaintiff is the State of CA.

This keeps HP from an actual guilt sentence.




RE: Blackmail?
By ThisSpaceForRent on 12/8/2006 3:26:41 PM , Rating: 3
This is a civil lawsuit, as stated in the article. You can never be found guilty in a civil court, only liable. Criminal cases are tried in completly seperate courts, and name individuals, and not corporate entities.


RE: Blackmail?
By TomZ on 12/8/2006 3:31:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think the OP's observation is valid - whether you call it "guilty" or "liable," the fact is that HP avoided court by writing a large check.

In addition, the article also hints that California will also similarly resolve the criminal complaints:

Along with the settlement, the state of California is looking into a possible settlement of criminal charges against Patricia C. Dunn, ousted former HP chairman.


RE: Blackmail?
By jtesoro on 12/8/2006 11:39:52 PM , Rating: 1
But isn't the end result the same anyway? If HP went to court and lost, they would have been found at fault and would have paid a fine also. Actually, if that happened HP could pay the fine but still claim innocence ("We may have lost, but I'm telling you, we're innocent!"). I think this settlement is better because here HP does admit wrongdoing.


RE: Blackmail?
By OrSin on 12/8/2006 3:47:42 PM , Rating: 2
How the hell does CA bring up a civil suit against HP. They was not the ones wrong in the suit. I could see if they sued on the behave of the people spied on, but it says the money is all going to the state. Does this make sence to anyone. Not Blackmail its straight out bridery. The Stockholders should be sueing HP and CA for crap. Also now that HP already settled with the state can individuals even sue them now? This smells


RE: Blackmail?
By OrSin on 12/8/2006 3:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
Ok reading more it seems HP striaght paided off the Attorney Generals office. 650K fine and 14 Million to my office. All the money is going straight to the office of the guy that signed the deal. If all you could get in a fine is 650K, why pay 15 times that. Thats crazy shady.


RE: Blackmail?
By iNGEN on 12/8/2006 5:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
This has become normal practice in the US, more prevalently in left leaning states, but its found everywhere.

The idea is that the state acts in the interest(s) of the harmed. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way the bureaucrats forget to see to it the harmed parties are made whole again.


RE: Blackmail?
By flatblastard on 12/8/2006 9:02:33 PM , Rating: 2
Too busy counting the dough, no doubt.....and fighting over who gets the biggest cut.


Justice to ALL
By crystal clear on 12/9/2006 4:18:32 AM , Rating: 3
Quote-

"California Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced that Hewlett-Packard will reportedly pay $14.5 million to settle a civil lawsuit filed by the California attorney general after HP admitted to hiring private investigators that used illegal methods to get private records on HP board members and journalists."

Unquote-
HP admitted to hiring private investigators that used illegal methods to get private records on HP board members and journalists."

*What about the PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS? -are they free-
NO, EVEN THEY SHOULD PAY AN EQUAL AMOUNT for damage done.

*What about those board memebers & journalist-DONT THEY DESERVE COMPENSATION for damage done.
PAY THEM ALSO

Quote-

"The actual fine is only $650,000 but the majority of the money will be used to create a California “privacy and piracy fund,” which will be used as a tool for state investigators to fight various privacy and intellectual property violations"

Unquote-

Thats money put to good use-but hope some positive results
come out from this FUND.

Quote-

“We are pleased to settle this matter with the attorney general, and are committed to ensuring that HP regains its standing as a global leader in corporate ethics and responsibility,” HP chief executive Mark Hurd said.

Unquote-

Look who is talking-The same guy is under investigation for
insider trading.Read

" HP Executives Accused of Insider Trading During Leak Probe"

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=5200


This statement could backfire on him & on HP.
In that same article one guy commented-

"I don't know which one is more foolish, HP or Sony. "


Quote-

California state officials hope that other companies will take notice and begin to work harder to “protect confidential business information without violating corporate ethics or privacy rights.”

and

"the state of California is looking into a possible settlement of criminal charges against Patricia C. Dunn, ousted former HP chairman"

Unquote-

Make them spend time behind bars-I mean JAIL.
This will serve as a deterent & example for others NOT TO
REPEAT THE SAME MISTAKES.




RE: Justice to ALL
By crystal clear on 12/10/2006 12:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
"Make them spend time behind bars-I mean JAIL.
This will serve as a deterent & example for others NOT TO
REPEAT THE SAME MISTAKES."

Read this-
Senate Passes Bill to Criminalize Pretexting

The measure, which was approved by unanimous consent last night and is similar to a bill passed earlier in the House, imposes a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to 10 years for duping telephone companies into divulging the calling records of private individuals. The penalties can go up under special circumstances, like cases involving domestic abuse.

The support for the legislation comes in the aftermath of the spying scandal at Hewlett-Packard, the computer giant.


Source-
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/09/business/09prete...


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