Best Buy's Geek Squads Have Actually Been FBI Informants For Years

posted by Francesca - 

Best Buy's Geek Squad may not be your friendly neighborhood nerd after all. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has found for at least a decade the FBI has enlisted Best Buy's "Geek Squad" to serve as informants and turn over any illegal or illicit material they find while servicing electronics. 

The general protocol was should a Geek Squad employee find something they think is illegal, such as child pornography etc, they would call the FBI, they would show up at the repair sight to deem whether or not it was indeed illegal and if it deemed so, they would seize the device and send it off for further review. Some cases required warrants and sometimes Geek Squad informants would be paid $500 for their efforts. 

Best Buy claims their Geek Squads will inadvertently come in contact while repairing electronics and trying to recover data, they do not go "fishing" for anything, and they have not received specific training from the FBI.

The EFF has argued because the Geek Squad calls the FBI if and when they find something illegal, they could be considered an arm of the branch which would require warrants and effectively violate people's 4th amendment rights.

The EFF filed a Freedom of Information Act last year after a case of possession of child pornography unveiled the FBI's relationship with the Geek Squad. Apparently it's still an ongoing legal matter. 

Source: BuzzFeed News

Francesca

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