Loose Lips Sink Chips

September 17, 2006 at 10:42 pm 3 comments

Newsweek did a bang-up job recording the ridiculous human drama behind Hewlett-Packard’s phone-spying scandal. Read it and feel the makings of a TBS original movie with Patricia Dunn in a Melanie Griffith turn and Check-Out-My-Bulging-Yacht Tom Perkins channeling his randy twin, Richard Branson.

Then the NYT teased us with the tricks of the pretexting trade that make such snooping successful.

But there’s much more we can do online to cover this cautionary corporate kookiness:

  • Snoop-cam video. Since H-P honchos were seeking a leaker, snoop-cam plumbs the depths. Snoop-cam zooms from the first leaky press report—WSJ, to furious Fiorina’s office, to January 2006 CNET leaky article, to Dunn’s office, to general counsel, to internal security, to outside counsel, to security consultants, to private investigators in their sticky little offices, to telco centers [In prisons? In India? In Indiana?], to enflamed boardroom featuring THE leaker Keyworth, to inside counsel, to outside counsel, to the not-leaker-but-aggrieved Perkins alerting the feds. Each stop on the bouncing buck tour has an accompanying snippet of dialogue. I’m fond of Keyworth’s response to being found out, “I would have told you all about this. Why didn’t you just ask?” Ah, but where’s the fun in that? Max time: 3 minutes.
  • Running underneath the video, a timeline ticker connecting facts with images.
  • Audio files of pretexters plying their trade with telco saps. Listen as David Gandel transforms from middle-aged white Coloradan to young Latino to aged phlegmatic widow. No need for video, but a still photo of Gandel is a must alongside the impersonating intonations.
  • Audio files from off-shore call centers—perhaps operators in training—with interviews revealing their level of sophistication in handling pretexting scoundrels.
  • Link to raw phone records with graphic call-outs of a damning “pattern of contacts.” Insert bubbles of investigative expert’s comments about what distinguishes a random call from a red-flag pattern.
  • Moderated live Q&A interview/chat with one of the spied-upon journalists and exposed leaker, Keyworth, about fiduciary duty vs compelling scoops.
  • Slideshow of SEC filings [with faces to match] disclosing fabulous resignations. There must be some fatuous verbiage that could be translated into what really went down. Pithy on parade. [SEC regs require these filings whenever anyone quits; H-Ps failure to promptly file theirs on Perkins helped blow his whistle.]
  • Video: Perkins reflecting on the importance of integrity—as he commands his 287-foot sailboat, the Maltese Falcon.
  • Sidebar explanation of how a board member fits and does not fit within the category of “employee.”
  • Expand from there to a “Selfish” section of the page where we answer the question, “Yeah, but how does this apply to me?” The Selfish section includes:
  • On-the-street video interviews asking folks about what they think their bosses have a right to do vis-a-vis monitoring communications. Present as split-screen with running facts and fallacies about how far employers may legally snoop on how employees use telephones, computers, etc., even if owned by the employee.
  • Step-by-step guide to preventing release of phone records—video or slide show.
  • Graphic map of potential entry points for an investigator to break into one’s private communications: From USPS mailbox peeping to cyberstalking.
  • Links to electronic privacy organizations as well as employer rights pages.
  • Coup de Google grace: A teaser inviting user to punch in home address, this links immediately to GoogleEarth. Graphic pops up: “Who’s watching you?”

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Arthritic Punk Goddess Beseeching Grace Damn.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Al Dayen  |  September 18, 2006 at 1:02 pm

    Stefanos would love it…

  • 2. cunygsj  |  September 21, 2006 at 12:36 am

    very fun list. map is good; maybe a list of what people can find out about you (been done but a good backgrounder). maybe an explanation of how this could possibly be legal from a lawyer.

  • 3. More bad news for Hewlett-Packard « Nothing’s News  |  September 23, 2006 at 3:11 am

    […] ::Also, take a look at Joy’s the-sky-is-the-limit plan for covering the H-P debacle online. […]


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