Documents show FBI paid Geek Squad staff as informants

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by samcraig, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #1
    http://thehill.com/regulation/cybersecurity/377226-fbi-paid-geek-squad-staff-as-informants-documents

    The FBI paid Best Buy Geek Squad employees to act as informants, according to documents obtained by the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

    The documents show that the FBI and Best Buy have had a relationship that goes back at least 10 years.

    The FBI and Geek Squad appear to have had a process for how the bureau would investigate and prosecute people who had given their devices to Geek Squad to be repaired.

    More via link...
     
  2. Zenithal macrumors G3

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    #2
    I don't think this will damage Best Buy. They do that best themselves. On the other hand, Circuit City is coming back...
     
  3. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #3
    Well, I'm no fan of Child Pornography - but is this a 4th Amendment issue?
     
  4. 0007776 Suspended

    0007776

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    #4
    How dumb was the FBI to not realize that this would end up with the evidence getting thrown out and allowing pedophiles to walk?

    On the other hand how dumb does someone have to be to take a computer with child porn or anything else illegal on it to any official repair place where someone else will have access to the computer?
    --- Post Merged, Mar 7, 2018 ---
    I’d read a different article about it, and haven’t had a chance to read the one in the OP to see if it has different info, but it looks like due to the 4th amendment issues a lot of evidence got tossed out and several of these pedophiles got to walk free.
     
  5. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #5
    Dumb is the new smart.
     
  6. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

    DrewDaHilp1

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    #6
    You voluntarily gave your PC to them to work on. Through the course of repair/testing they found it. No. 4th issue. I would be more concerned with them planting incriminating material seeing how the tech would benefit.
     
  7. Zenithal macrumors G3

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    #7
    I'd be fine if they walked the criminals around the building and forced them into a black van and detained them indefinitely.
     
  8. 0007776 Suspended

    0007776

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    #8
    The problem is since proper protocols were not followed there is no guarantee that evidence wasn’t planted to make the Geek Squad member money.
     
  9. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #9
    I like the casual regard for due process in this thread...
     
  10. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #10
    And Circuit City kept prices inflated as well...

    I'll stick with Fry's, Newegg, and TigerDirect.

    BL.
     
  11. Zenithal macrumors G3

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    #11
    I haven't had the best experiences lately finding stuff at Fry's, but I suspect it was poor timing. Don't like the egg or the tiger.
     
  12. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #12
    Egg is okay. Tiger is my 5th choice, to be honest.. I'd go in this order:

    Fry's (It's local to us, and great deals on Black Friday)
    Newegg
    Amazon
    B&H Photo (can't beat the free shipping)
    TigerDirect

    Though, I have to admit that I haven't built anything that warranted me going out to these. Last box I built was at least 3 years ago with the Intel Core I5. Since then, it's been swapping HDDs for SSDs. Nothing else, because I don't get the rush from building the latest and greatest anymore. But if I needed something computer based, I go there first.

    I haven't stepped foot into a Best Buy since we bought our washer/dryer combo on BF as well.

    BL.
     
  13. Zenithal macrumors G3

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    #13
    I needed to buy something from BH last week but I can't remember what exactly. I'm sure it'll pop up in my head again. Don't forget Microcenter if there's one near you.
     
  14. Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

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    #14
    I like Best Buy but I would never trust the Geek Squad with any repairs (even before this).
     
  15. Gutwrench Contributor

    Gutwrench

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    Jan 2, 2011
    #15
    I don’t know enough about this but at a glance....

    There is typically no 4th Amendment violation if a third party discovers criminal evidence and turns it over to the government.

    When a third party, through their relationship with the government, becomes a government agent the Constitutional protections apply.

    This will likely piviot on what Best Buy was doing to discover the evidence, what tools they used to find it, and if any relationship or coaching by the government would convince a judge Best Buy actions/behavior was of a truly independent party or rather an agent of the government.
     
  16. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #16
    Since I just got a Mac and an iPad to prove I don't like computers I will no longer be shopping a BestBuy, New Egg, or any of those places.
     
  17. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

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    #17
    I could see where it could be abused and obtrusive over time. They could start scanning emails and other data perhaps even used by Bestbuy themselves.
     
  18. SRLMJ23, Mar 20, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018

    SRLMJ23 Contributor

    SRLMJ23

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    #18
    EDIT: I apologize about posting about this again, I did not think anyone had. The article I linked in my post I believe has some more information. I received an email from Twitter with this article on the 3/16 saying there was "new documents" showing even more collaboration between Geek Squad & the FBI. So I assuming they added more to this article, but if not, I apologize for posting about the same topic. My bad guys.

    :apple:


    I am just going to paste the first few paragraphs here, as it is a pretty long article. I personally have never used Geek Squad, since I can figure out my tech stuff on my own or with the help of my fellow MacRumors community. This is abuse of power for sure! I will post the link to the full article as well. I think it is an important read for everyone, however, especially for people that actually use Geek Squad!

    Link to full article from Electronic Frontier Foundation: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/03/geek-squads-relationship-fbi-cozier-we-thought



    Part of article:

    Update: A Best Buy spokesperson confirmed to reporters that at least four Geek Squad employees received payments from the FBI.

    After the prosecution of a California doctor revealed the FBI’s ties to a Best Buy Geek Squadcomputer repair facility in Kentucky, new documents released to EFF show that the relationship goes back years. The records also confirm that the FBI has paid Geek Squad employees as informants.

    EFF filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit last year to learn more about how the FBI uses Geek Squad employees to flag illegal material when people pay Best Buy to repair their computers. The relationship potentially circumvents computer owners’ Fourth Amendment rights.

    The documents released to EFF show that Best Buy officials have enjoyed a particularly close relationship with the agency for at least 10 years. For example, an FBI memo from September 2008 details how Best Buy hosted a meeting of the agency’s “Cyber Working Group” at the company’s Kentucky repair facility.

    The memo and a related email show that Geek Squad employees also gave FBI officials a tour of the facility before their meeting and makes clear that the law enforcement agency’s Louisville Division “has maintained close liaison with the Geek Squad’s management in an effort to glean case initiations and to support the division’s Computer Intrusion and Cyber Crime programs.”



    :apple:
     

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17 March 7, 2018