On Oct. 4, the California attorney general brought criminal charges against five people in connection with the Hewlett-Packard spying scandal, including former chairwoman Patricia C. Dunn. Also charged was Kevin Hunsaker, a former HP in-house counsel and the individual who spearheaded the effort to identify the leaker of confidential HP information. Ann Baskins, the former HP general counsel and to whom Hunsaker reported, was not charged.

As the details of this scandal continue to emerge, some unfortunate ironies regarding Baskins and Hunsaker have also surfaced. First, in their efforts to aid in the uncovering of the identity of the person or persons leaking information from board meetings, and perhaps generally approving of the tactics used to weed out that conduct, they may have created liability for themselves and their company.

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