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FBI Used Paid Informants On Best Buy's Geek Squad To Flag Child Pornography

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posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 07:11 PM
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If you've got something to hide on your computer, probably not a good idea to have it repaired by Geek Squad. I've worked as a PC Technician since the days of 286/386's, and have always been amazed at the amount of "private" documents that customers have on their machines. I never went out of my way to find and/or look at these intimate files, but sometimes it was unavoidable. The FBI apparently has taken advantage of PC user's ignorance and/or laziness and used technicians to tip them off when questionable material was found:
NPR SOURCE

The FBI paid Best Buy Geek Squad employees as informants, rewarding them for flagging indecent material when people brought their computers in for repair. That's according to documents released to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties organization, which filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records that might show warrantless searches of people's devices. EFF filed its complaint last year after revelations about the FBI's interactions with Geek Squad technicians emerged in the case of Mark Rettenmaier, an Orange County, Calif., physician and surgeon who took his computer in for repair when it wouldn't boot up. Rettenmaier faced child pornography charges after a Geek Squad employee flagged his computer to the FBI. In May, a federal judge threw out almost all the evidence (which prosecutors said included hundreds of images of child pornography) because of "false and misleading statements" an FBI agent made in an affidavit to get a search warrant for Rettenmaier's house. The government ended up dropping the charges against him.


The records now released to EFF shed a bit more light on the relationship between Best Buy and the FBI. The documents show a range of interactions: a $500 payment from the FBI to a Geek Squad employee, a meeting of the agency's Cyber Working Group at Best Buy's computer repair facility in Kentucky, and a number of investigations in which Geek Squad employees called the FBI field office in Louisville after finding suspected child pornography.A key question is whether Best Buy employees "go fishing" in customers' devices with the goal of helping the FBI.


I don't like the idea of the techs going out of their way to look through customer's documents, if that was the case. If they accidentally came across media that was undeniably illegal they should have contacted management who could then take the proper steps to notify police. What do you think?
MORE INFO
EVEN MORE INFO

edit on 372018 by seattlerat because: (no reason given)

edit on 372018 by seattlerat because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 07:15 PM
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Have you seen these geek squad nerds?

I'm sure that some..er..

most of them would gladly ad a little porn to anyone's P.C. for a few bucks..

Gamers need the cash...lol...

not funny really..



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 07:30 PM
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Deliberately scanning a customers computer is totally shady, but if a tech comes across child porn or even a hint of child porn on a PC and don't pass that on to law enforcement, they are total scum. On the other hand, if the FBI uses a geek squad guy as a way to confirm suspicions, then so be it. The reality is, I don't care how it is found out, people with child porn need to get fried. There should be no loopholes for child porn evidence to be thrown out. It should be a special category of crime. Crimes against children practically deserves a constitutional amendment regarding due process waiver.



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 07:42 PM
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I don't support or condone ugly things, but a business that solicits customers to make money and corporate fortune who rats on their customers are total scum bags just as bad as any perps they might encounter while repairing computers. Any company that does this deserves nothing but eradication from the planet. Calling them The Judas squad. I wonder how much money the FBI paid them to betray their own customers.



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 07:49 PM
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originally posted by: Halfswede
Deliberately scanning a customers computer is totally shady, but if a tech comes across child porn or even a hint of child porn on a PC and don't pass that on to law enforcement, they are total scum. On the other hand, if the FBI uses a geek squad guy as a way to confirm suspicions, then so be it. The reality is, I don't care how it is found out, people with child porn need to get fried. There should be no loopholes for child porn evidence to be thrown out. It should be a special category of crime. Crimes against children practically deserves a constitutional amendment regarding due process waiver.



I have photographs of my sons climbing into spaces or otherwise doing some stupid, (but adorable) things while naked.
They are naked because they undress themselves.
While there is nothing sexual in the images, some would call this child pornography, due to what is visible.

So, my question to you is what is the definition of child porn?



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 07:53 PM
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So are we now doing like the Oakland Mayor, by tipping off the "crooks" so they can steer clear from being caught?



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 08:04 PM
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a reply to: carewemust

I don't see how this is tipping off crooks, it is more like tipping off Geek Squad customers that their data may be scrutinized during the time their computers are being repaired. The thing is, at least from my experience, the kind of people (if you can call them that) that will have child porn on their computers are too stupid to be tipped off. If they aren't that stupid, and there might be 3 of them that aren't, then they probably wouldn't let others have access to their filthy hard drives.

I also spent some time working in a 1-Hour Photo Lab- you would think that people dropping off film to be developed would realize that their processed photos would be viewed by employees- in fact, we were REQUIRED to view them for quality assurance. Do you think that we didn't find a huge amount of private images? We saw them every day, some that made me want to vomit. Yes, we were required to notify management (in this case I was management) if we came across material that was clearly illegal, not just child-pornography, but also illicit drug use, or anything else that we deemed suspicious.
edit on 372018 by seattlerat because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 08:24 PM
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a reply to: seattlerat

Point taken. I was of the assumption that Pedo-scum were online a lot. Maybe even on ATS. Letting them know that they shouldn't let Geek Squad come to their home, is essentially tipping them off.

The vast majority of Best Buy customers have nothing to hide from Geek Squad...or anyone else for that matter.



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 08:26 PM
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a reply to: Halfswede


Do you really want a special category of crime that isn't covered under the 4th amendment and has zero "loopholes" with regard to the evidence? What if a prosecutor can't show a flawless chain of custody? Does the prosecutor even have to "prove" that the device in question belongs to the accused?

Are there any other crimes you feel are worthy of this special category of crime? I'm just trying to clarify and appreciate your response!



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 08:59 PM
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originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed
I don't support or condone ugly things, but a business that solicits customers to make money and corporate fortune who rats on their customers are total scum bags just as bad as any perps they might encounter while repairing computers. Any company that does this deserves nothing but eradication from the planet. Calling them The Judas squad. I wonder how much money the FBI paid them to betray their own customers.


So reporting Child porn makes them as bad as the pedo's, because they also happen to be in the business of computers?

Sounds like despite "not supporting or condoning ugly things" you'd have been ok if the squad let the pedo's slide... Surely not.

Having said that, if you're worried about people snooping around, learn to fix your own computer.



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 09:54 PM
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originally posted by: Wardaddy454

originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed
I don't support or condone ugly things, but a business that solicits customers to make money and corporate fortune who rats on their customers are total scum bags just as bad as any perps they might encounter while repairing computers. Any company that does this deserves nothing but eradication from the planet. Calling them The Judas squad. I wonder how much money the FBI paid them to betray their own customers.


So reporting Child porn makes them as bad as the pedo's, because they also happen to be in the business of computers?

Sounds like despite "not supporting or condoning ugly things" you'd have been ok if the squad let the pedo's slide... Surely not.

Having said that, if you're worried about people snooping around, learn to fix your own computer.


Amazing logical fallacy. How many? I count three in your reply. Having nothing whatsoever to do with anything I said to boot.
CNN called, they like your style.

A business that uses you to make money from you, their lifeblood, stabs you in the back when they are finished. And it is all arbitrary.
I think it's good to catch these people, but not in this manner. That is pure dog ShT. Like your reply was.



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 10:02 PM
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originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed

originally posted by: Wardaddy454

originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed
I don't support or condone ugly things, but a business that solicits customers to make money and corporate fortune who rats on their customers are total scum bags just as bad as any perps they might encounter while repairing computers. Any company that does this deserves nothing but eradication from the planet. Calling them The Judas squad. I wonder how much money the FBI paid them to betray their own customers.


So reporting Child porn makes them as bad as the pedo's, because they also happen to be in the business of computers?

Sounds like despite "not supporting or condoning ugly things" you'd have been ok if the squad let the pedo's slide... Surely not.

Having said that, if you're worried about people snooping around, learn to fix your own computer.


Amazing logical fallacy. How many? I count three in your reply. Having nothing whatsoever to do with anything I said to boot.
CNN called, they like your style.

A business that uses you to make money from you, their lifeblood, stabs you in the back when they are finished. And it is all arbitrary.
I think it's good to catch these people, but not in this manner. That is pure dog ShT. Like your reply was.


I was just addressing your initial fallacious post.

I see you're argument has run its course already.



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 10:23 PM
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originally posted by: Wardaddy454

originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed

originally posted by: Wardaddy454

originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed
I don't support or condone ugly things, but a business that solicits customers to make money and corporate fortune who rats on their customers are total scum bags just as bad as any perps they might encounter while repairing computers. Any company that does this deserves nothing but eradication from the planet. Calling them The Judas squad. I wonder how much money the FBI paid them to betray their own customers.


So reporting Child porn makes them as bad as the pedo's, because they also happen to be in the business of computers?

Sounds like despite "not supporting or condoning ugly things" you'd have been ok if the squad let the pedo's slide... Surely not.

Having said that, if you're worried about people snooping around, learn to fix your own computer.


Amazing logical fallacy. How many? I count three in your reply. Having nothing whatsoever to do with anything I said to boot.
CNN called, they like your style.

A business that uses you to make money from you, their lifeblood, stabs you in the back when they are finished. And it is all arbitrary.
I think it's good to catch these people, but not in this manner. That is pure dog ShT. Like your reply was.


I was just addressing your initial fallacious post.

I see you're argument has run its course already.


Hey if backstabbing your customers floats your boat, be my guest. You would fit right in there.



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 10:31 PM
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originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed

originally posted by: Wardaddy454

originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed

originally posted by: Wardaddy454

originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed
I don't support or condone ugly things, but a business that solicits customers to make money and corporate fortune who rats on their customers are total scum bags just as bad as any perps they might encounter while repairing computers. Any company that does this deserves nothing but eradication from the planet. Calling them The Judas squad. I wonder how much money the FBI paid them to betray their own customers.


So reporting Child porn makes them as bad as the pedo's, because they also happen to be in the business of computers?

Sounds like despite "not supporting or condoning ugly things" you'd have been ok if the squad let the pedo's slide... Surely not.

Having said that, if you're worried about people snooping around, learn to fix your own computer.


Amazing logical fallacy. How many? I count three in your reply. Having nothing whatsoever to do with anything I said to boot.
CNN called, they like your style.

A business that uses you to make money from you, their lifeblood, stabs you in the back when they are finished. And it is all arbitrary.
I think it's good to catch these people, but not in this manner. That is pure dog ShT. Like your reply was.


I was just addressing your initial fallacious post.

I see you're argument has run its course already.


Hey if backstabbing your customers floats your boat, be my guest. You would fit right in there.


Well one, you know nothing about me.

Two, no one is forced to do business with them, and there are a plethora of small computer shops all over that would be more than happy for the new business.

Three, if a customer is an actual pedophile and the pictures on the computer are of children the individual has had direct face to face contact with, should he be stopped and put away ASAP, or do we just let it slide for now so we save costumer feelings.
edit on 7-3-2018 by Wardaddy454 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 10:48 PM
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originally posted by: Wardaddy454

originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed

originally posted by: Wardaddy454

originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed

originally posted by: Wardaddy454

originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed
I don't support or condone ugly things, but a business that solicits customers to make money and corporate fortune who rats on their customers are total scum bags just as bad as any perps they might encounter while repairing computers. Any company that does this deserves nothing but eradication from the planet. Calling them The Judas squad. I wonder how much money the FBI paid them to betray their own customers.


So reporting Child porn makes them as bad as the pedo's, because they also happen to be in the business of computers?

Sounds like despite "not supporting or condoning ugly things" you'd have been ok if the squad let the pedo's slide... Surely not.

Having said that, if you're worried about people snooping around, learn to fix your own computer.


Amazing logical fallacy. How many? I count three in your reply. Having nothing whatsoever to do with anything I said to boot.
CNN called, they like your style.

A business that uses you to make money from you, their lifeblood, stabs you in the back when they are finished. And it is all arbitrary.
I think it's good to catch these people, but not in this manner. That is pure dog ShT. Like your reply was.


I was just addressing your initial fallacious post.

I see you're argument has run its course already.


Hey if backstabbing your customers floats your boat, be my guest. You would fit right in there.


Well one, you know nothing about me.

Two, no one is forced to do business with them, and there are a plethora of small computer shops all over that would be more than happy for the new business.

Three, if a customer is an actual pedophile and the pictures on the computer are of children the individual has had direct face to face contact with, should he be stopped and put away ASAP, or do we just let it slide for now so we save costumer feelings.


It is sad you didn't understand my first post. I was just pointing that "Sinning to catch a sinner" is what geek squad is doing on behalf of our FBI. Both things are as bad as the other.
Hope that helps.



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 10:50 PM
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1. I would have nothing on my computer that I'd be afraid for anyone to see.
2. If I did, I know enough to take it off before I bring it in.
3. I've never used Geek Squad because I can do what they can do better and cheaper.
4. I'd never use Geek Squad now, because I could easily see some pimply faced twerp planting something on anyone's computer to make a few hundred extra bucks.

:
edit on 2018 3 07 by incoserv because: I could.



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 11:02 PM
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a reply to: baddmove

This has to be FN.

if it is not fake news...than we are all fuhked.



posted on Mar, 7 2018 @ 11:04 PM
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I hate anybody that would touch a child.

I also hate the government paying these guys.

How come that show "To Catch A Predator " lines these guys up.

With all the money we give the FBI, they use Geek Squad ?

These methods sound illegal.

This is a tough issue. But, we can't allow this...



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 01:47 AM
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I have had Best Buy put malware on my computer using driver CDs that came with there products

Twice i have bought special cables for things like hooking up my GPS system to my computer. and security cameras so that the computer records from my security system and the disk drivers had the malware on them.

One time it was a Web Browser Redirect Virus the other time it was a redirect malware that bypassed google ratings and every time i looked for electronics i was sent to Best Buy sites.

A number of people i know that have used geek squad have had setting or other things from your computer removed or changed.

One friend had a keylogger on his computer to watch what his kids did on the computer.
geek squad always removed it as malware even after he told the geek squad employee NOT to tamper with it.

Did they remove it so that they could rummage through his computer.
I have TrueCrypt protecting things i don't want seen on my computer.
edit on 8-3-2018 by ANNED because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 04:12 AM
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I'm pretty sure the FBI run their own child porn sites.

edit on 4America/Chicago12Thu, 08 Mar 2018 04:12:49 -060008400000018 by weirdguy because: (no reason given)







 
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