FBI paid Geek Squad ‘informants’ to search computers for child porn

Multiple technicians with Best Buy’s Geek Squad repair service received hundreds of dollars from the FBI in exchange for seeking child pornography on customers’ computers, according to court documents reviewed by The Washington Post. These filings raise questions about how close a relationship the agency has with Geek Squad members, and whether these relationships could make some of the technicians’ searches unconstitutional.
Geek Squad employees will notify law enforcement if they find child pornography while fixing customers’ computers, and in many states, they’re legally required to do so. The question is whether technicians are specifically acting as FBI informants to find material that the agency would otherwise need a warrant to look for. Such a system would let law enforcement get around Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches. Lawyers for Mark Rettenmaier, a California doctor charged with possessing child pornography, are asking to have FBI evidence thrown out on exactly these grounds. [Read more here...]


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