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FBI Paid Best Buy Technicians to Inform
Them about Illegal Content on Customer Devices

National Review Online, by Mairead McArdle

Original Article

Posted By:MissMolly, 3/8/2018 5:07:02 AM

The revelation comes as the FBI is accused of targeting Trump campaign officials. The FBI recruited computer technicians at Best Buy to inform them about illegal content on personal devices customers brought in for repairs, new Bureau documents show. The informants were discovered after Best Buy’s Geek Squad technicians at a Kentucky repair shop found thousands of child-pornography images on California doctor Mark Rettenmaier’s computer. The documents from the ensuing court case showed that eight informants were cooperating with the FBI to turn over illegal content. The Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the Department of Justice and finally obtained records the FBI had not


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Reply 1 - Posted by: miceal, 3/8/2018 6:37:59 AM     (No. 11565468)

The stench from the Swamp continues to billow out...

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Reply 2 - Posted by: paperpuncher, 3/8/2018 7:02:25 AM     (No. 11565488)

That being said, any pervert with child porn on his computer that is stupid enough to take it to a third party for repair deserves what he gets. Well, he deserves what he gets any way!

In addition, as far as I know computer repair guys are private citizens. If they find criminal activity in the process of doing their job, is it not their duty to notify law enforcement?

I don´t think getting paid for it is a good idea though. They should do it because it is the right thing to do.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: jeffkinnh, 3/8/2018 7:26:42 AM     (No. 11565507)

Well, I don´t have any illegal stuff on my computer but knowing that BestBuy is snooping for the FBI, I would be sure to never bring them any of my business. There is such a thing as expectation of privacy and it seems like BestBuy is FAR too nosey. Are the geeks drooling over pictures of my teen daughter and friends in swimsuits at a pool party? Frankly it creeps me out and given the FBI´s Gestapo tactics for Mueller´s investigation it seems BestBuy "buys" into it.

Big Brother is watching YOU, at BestBuy.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: strike3, 3/8/2018 7:26:46 AM     (No. 11565508)

You can murder any number of people but don´t dare download porn, music or games without appropriate registration. My respect for most law enforcement is gone.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: F15 Gork, 3/8/2018 7:37:22 AM     (No. 11565525)

Before seeking repairs, you may want to remove your hardrive, take it out in the driveway and declassify it with a hammer - worked for Hilly.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: provide, 3/8/2018 7:56:50 AM     (No. 11565550)

I see this as a way to target political candidates with a plant of porn, then force them to withdraw.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: MoBeef4u, 3/8/2018 7:57:25 AM     (No. 11565551)

I really hate the idea of government entities paying private citizens to snoop and report on their neighbors. That being said, when it comes to child pornography...that´s a terrible situation. I agree with the above poster who said the reporting should be done because it´s the right thing to do not because you are getting paid to spy; like the people who reported Cruz to the authorities only to be ignored.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: lakerman1, 3/8/2018 8:08:44 AM     (No. 11565561)

I was under the impression that computer repair people had a legal obligation to report child porn to the authorities.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: ronbet, 3/8/2018 8:22:54 AM     (No. 11565580)

This is actually old news. It was reported a year or two ago.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 3/8/2018 8:28:25 AM     (No. 11565585)

I won a $1000.00 reward once. I was a GI traveling in uniform. Sitting at a bus station, I saw on the TV local news they were looking for an escapee. H had L-O-V-E on the back fingers of his left hand and H-A-T-E on the back of the fingers of his right hand. I looked across from me and there the guy was, reading a news paper (hiding his face). I stood up to stretch, looked over the paper and there was the guy. I casually walked over to a cop, pointed the guy out, the cop arrested the guy without incident and took my name and address. Next time I went home for leave, mother gave me the check for $1,000.00 from the city of Louisville. I signed it and gave it to her- she needed it. in 1966 that was quite a lot of money.

If a home service tech came into your house and saw an abused, bruised, child, is he/she not expected to turn that situation in to the authorities? Should they be rewarded for doing it? If so-so what?

Now the reason I told that story is- why should we The People get disjointed over the Geek Squad people getting money for turning in people with illegal content on their computers they work on? Hmmm? What is the difference? I do not see it.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Throwback, 3/8/2018 8:33:41 AM     (No. 11565591)

I am more concerned about something being planted by service techs.

Just keep a flash drive to copy important documents to in case of a crash.

If you get a virus, just take the computer back to the factory image. It´s like having a new computer. You can find out how to do it from the mfg. Usually it is a matter of hitting the right key during start up and following the prompts. You will have to buy new anti-virus but the re-image has the factory trial anti-virus for thirty days so you can get up and running.

A bit of a hassle but cheaper than service or a new computer.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Rumblehog, 3/8/2018 9:02:02 AM     (No. 11565615)

It is time to close down the FBI and force retire the lot of them.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: stymie82, 3/8/2018 9:17:21 AM     (No. 11565640)

I predict Best Buy will be bankrupt within 2 years-Trump economy or no. Geeks are paid to repair the computers-not search files and deleted files for profit paid by taxpayers.
They could install their own dirty files, if needed. Why wouldn´t they? The profit motive can corrupt even geeks. BB is not to be trusted!

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Reply 14 - Posted by: mc squared, 3/8/2018 9:21:06 AM     (No. 11565644)

We always assume the ´spies´ are doing God´s work.
They´re also doing their own: Do you have Turbo Tax on your computer? Invoices, spreadsheets, legal correspondence?

How about those naked pictures of the grandbabies in the tub?

Think about it before you cheer government snoopers inside your computer.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: qr4j, 3/8/2018 9:26:59 AM     (No. 11565652)

Is this legal? Cops pay drug narcs all the time, at least in the cop shows on TV. I suppose it is legal. But, as others have said, it seems like this has the potential for rife abuse whether political or personal.

My neighbor to the east causes me problems all the time--largely related to drug trafficking. When I have spoken to the local police, they tell me that they are fully aware of it--even officers who do not normally work my neighborhood know about it. Yet nothing is done.

But it is okay for police to go through your computer. What the hell?!

BTW, I do NOT think child porn is okay. Far from that! I just don´t care for Totalitarian Big Brother Uncle Sam.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Lawsy0, 3/8/2018 9:42:11 AM     (No. 11565680)

Best Buy! Oh the stories I could tell that have nothing at all to do with this NRO information. A fellow Ldotter and I have managed to keep our names out of the paper from an incident there a few years back. Oy.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: M2, 3/8/2018 9:49:29 AM     (No. 11565687)

This smacks of Thought Police. It´s not American, but we´ve become so polarized that any transgression is political fodder for the opposition.

I hate this.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Rumblehog, 3/8/2018 10:22:07 AM     (No. 11565713)

Will some Washington Post insider now publish, "The Best Buy Papers?"

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Reply 19 - Posted by: stablemoney, 3/8/2018 10:55:04 AM     (No. 11565745)

I do not want my computer search by Best Buy. It contains private information. Best Buy cannot discover illegal information, without going through ALL your private files. Best Buy computers are also filled with bloatware and adware that is difficult to remove, because the file locations cannot easily be found. I would never buy anything from Best Buy, or use any of their services. They are not honest.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: PAdiva, 3/8/2018 11:50:05 AM     (No. 11565791)

A few years ago, a Geek Squad employee (in Moorestown NJ) found photos of places etc at Ft Dix. He went to the police. The bad guys were arrested. The bad guys had access to Ft Dix because one of them delivered pizzas there or something stupid like that. The Geek Squad employee was afraid that he would get in trouble for contacting the police.
Also- never buy a used computer unless you can completely clean it.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: Videodrone, 3/8/2018 11:55:23 AM     (No. 11565796)

about a decade ago I had a local computer repair and network biz in addition to my usual broadcast gig and picked up some of the county IT overflow - RDCV one of the educ-rats (administrator) had a locked up laptop full of nasty stuff including child porn.

ended up giving a deposition and deciding that the local biz wasn´t worth the trouble.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: NYbob, 3/8/2018 12:05:25 PM     (No. 11565804)

When people used to have film processed, this was standard procedure almost everywhere. We just bought 2 phones and a laptop from Best Buy that was a better deal than the Apple Store. The employees we dealt with were great. Depends on who you deal with I guess.

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Reply 23 - Posted by: snakeoil, 3/8/2018 4:42:43 PM     (No. 11566093)

If you are a computer repair technician and discover something illegal on a pc and you don´t report it you could be charged as an accessory after the fact or something like that. Don´t ever put anything on a computer that can put you in The Clink.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: GardenGal, 3/8/2018 7:49:35 PM     (No. 11566230)

I know one of my kids worked in photo processing at one time and he had to talk to the police because someone turned in child porn pictures to be developed. Someone really stupid I guess or someone who was duped somehow.

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