The secret relationship between the FBI and Best Buy’s Geek Squad has been unveiled by record that were unsealed, the records also showed that the agency trained company technicians on law-enforcement operational tactics, shared lists of targeted citizens also encouraged searches of computers even when unrelated to a customer’s request for repairs. This was meant to covertly increase surveillance on the public.
The FBI officials and Federal prosecutors have argued that Geek Squad employees accidentally find and report, for example, potential child pornography on customer’s computers without any prodding by the government. This clearly indicates that the FBI officials and the federal prosecutors argument is meant to sidestep the U.S. Constitution prohibition against warrantless invasions of private property.
More than a dozen summaries of FBI memoranda filed inside Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse this month in USA Vs. Mark Rettenmaier lead to the conclusion that the Geek Squad and the FBI cooperated.
In a communication about Geek Squad supervisor Justin Meade, the agency said that the agent assignments had been reviewed and were appropriate for operation of the source concerned, adding that the paid informant continued to provide valuable information on child pornography matters and that he has value due to his unique or potential access to FBI priority targets or intelligence that is responsive to the FBI local and national collection.
In other records, it is revealed that Meade’s job gave him excellent and frequent access for several years to computers that belonged to unwitting Best Buy customers. However, agents considered him underutilized as they wanted him to consistently search devices.
Another FBI record voiced the opinion that agents should schedule meetings with Meade to ensure he is reporting. Back in 2008, plans seeking the training of the Geek Squad Facility technicians were designed to help them identify files and images that would necessitate that the FBI to be notified.
However, evidence demonstrates that company employees routinely snooped for the agency, contemplated writing software program to aid the FBI in riffling through customer’s computers without any cause.
The coziness with Best Buy was underscored by the multiple agency memoranda, including one that stated that the Louisville Division had maintained a close liaison with the Geek Squad management in an effort to glean case initiations and support the division’s Computer Intrusion and Cyber Crime programs.
The FBI made Best Buy an unofficial wing of the agency by incentivizing Geek Squad employees to dig through client’s computers, paying $500 each time they found evidence that could launch a criminal case.