If you’ve ever had a computer malfunction, chances are that you took it to the Geek Squad section of a Best Buy store for repairs. Well, guess what? If you actually did that, then you likely handed your computer over to an employee of the FBI, who then conducted a warrantless search of everything on your hard drive. That’s according to the findings of a digital watchdog group known as the Electronic Freedom Foundation.
A court case involving a doctor in California has revealed the fact that many Best Buy employees who work in Geek Squad centers are, in fact, paid FBI informants. These people are paid to search out illegal activity on people’s hard drives and then turn the information over to their bosses at the FBI. This is a way for the FBI—which is currently one of the most untrustworthy agencies in the enter federal government—to conduct warrantless searches on everyone who needs computer repairs.
The doctor in question was accused of possessing child pornography based on a single image that the employee found while fishing around in his computer and carrying out tasks that had nothing to do with repairing the machine. This is not a defense of child porn by any means. It is a defense of how our legal system is actually supposed to work.
Would anyone be okay if the FBI rounded up innocent January 6 protesters because a Geek Squad employee read their emails without a warrant? Probably not. All of us either have the same rights, or none of us do.
If a Best Buy employee takes money from the FBI to carry out a task and then does so, that employee works for the FBI. Period.
The case against the California doctor was ultimately thrown out because the FBI/Geek Squad employee found the evidence in an illegal search. A guy who was probably guilty walked free because the FBI never wants to play by the rules of the American legal system.