Tags: fbi | best buy | geek squad | child porn | informer

FBI Paid Geek Squad Staffers to Be Child Porn Informers?

FBI Paid Geek Squad Staffers to Be Child Porn Informers?

(Martial Genest/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 08 March 2018 06:48 AM

The FBI paid Best Buy Geek Squad staffers to be child porn informers, shelling out cash when they reportedly tipped off agents about indecent material on computers brought to them for repairs, the Electronic Frontier Foundation claimed.

According to documents released after the civil liberties organization’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit on warrantless searches of computer devices, the FBI has had a relationship with Best Buy for last least 10 years, National Public Radio reported.

In one high-profile FBI case involving a Best Buy technician, a U.S. district judge threw out the bulk of evidence in a child pornography case involving Orange County, California physician Mark Rettenmaier last May, NPR said.

The FBI had charged that Rettenmaier had hundreds of child porn images on a computer he took to Best Buy to fix. The doctor told employees the computer would not boot up, NPR said, and a Geek squad employee informed the FBI about images found on it.

The FBI dropped the case altogether in November after a judge ruled the FBI agent who wrote the original affidavit made "false and misleading statements" in it and that the images did not rise to level of child pornography, the Orange County Register reported.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation said it found documents that showed the FBI paid $500 to at least one Geek Squad employee, that the FBI's Cyber Working Group had a meeting at Best Buy's repair facility in Kentucky, and that several investigations started with the company tipping off the FBI about its customers.

The EFF said documents suggested that Best Buy employees were actively looking on customers computers for illegal images, beyond its work to fix the customer's problem, even though the company's policy forbids them not to.

"But some evidence in the case appears to show Geek Squad employees did make an affirmative effort to identify illegal material," EFF said. "For example, the image found on Rettenmaier's hard drive was in an unallocated space, which typically requires forensic software to find.”

"Other evidence showed that Geek Squad employees were financially rewarded for finding child pornography. Such a bounty would likely encourage Geek Squad employees to actively sweep for suspicious content," EFF said.

The EFF said Geek Squad "wide-ranging" searches on computers brought to the FBI suggested the agency "directed the informants to conduct them."

"The payments Geek Squad informants received also demonstrate that they conducted the searches with the intent to assist the FBI," EFF added.

The FBI had declined to comment on its relationship with Best Buy or other computer tech companies, citing ongoing litigation, NPR reported.

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
The FBI paid Best Buy Geek Squad staffers to be child porn informers, shelling out cash when they reportedly tipped off agents about indecent material on computers brought to them for repairs, the Electronic Frontier Foundation claimed.
fbi, best buy, geek squad, child porn, informer
432
2018-48-08
Thursday, 08 March 2018 06:48 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved