Geek Squad Routinely Reveals Computer Owners’ Information to FBI

By on March 13, 2018

March 13, 2018

A FOIA request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation reveals that the FBI pays Geek Squad employees to reveal information from computers they repair. The relationship, that potentially violates computer owners’ Fourth Amendment rights, has been going for at least 10 years. An FBI memo from September 2008 reveals that Best Buy, where computers are taken for repair by Geek Squad, hosted a meeting of the FBI’s “Cyber Working Group” at the company’s Kentucky repair facility. Geek Squad employees gave FBI officials a tour of the facility before their meeting. The memo 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.” Another document records a $500 payment from the FBI to a confidential Geek Squad informant. This appears to be one of the same payments at issue in the prosecution of Mark Rettenmaier, the California doctor who was charged with possession of child pornography after Best Buy sent his computer to the Kentucky Geek Squad repair facility.
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Electronic Frontier Foundation

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