The Ironic Logic of Hewlett-Packard’s Leak Investigation

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We noted earlier how the evolving story on Hewlett-Packard weird, paranoid and possibly illegal investigation into leaks is itself now being driven by leaks. The New York Times has reported stories based on “people briefed on the internal investigation” and other insiders. The Washington Post is reporting on internal H-P emails. It seems every financial news organization now has a source inside the company.
Since this all started as a campaign to plug leaks at H-P, the flood of leaks is ironic. But is a highly logical sort of irony. If you are an insider at H-P, you probably now have nothing to fear from leaking. There is zero chance the company is now going to launch any kind of thorough investigation to discover these leaks. It’s way too much trouble.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see widespread leaking from other companies as well, particularly those in the Bay Area. No one wants to be the next Hewlett-Packard, so no company will risk going to extraordinary lengths to find leakers. As the probability of getting caught leaking declines, the temptation to leak will only grow.
So, blame Hewlett-Packard if a new round of corporate whispering breaks out.

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