This is not new. The FBI has hired Best Buy’s Geek Squad before; however, recently unsealed records show that this relationship goes deeper than previously thought.
The FBI trained Geek Squad members on law enforcement tactics and shared a list of targeted citizens with them. They even encouraged extra, unnecessary snooping on customer computers.
As OC Weekly reported:
“…FBI officials have argued that Geek Squad employees accidentally find and report, for example, potential child pornography on customers’ computers without any prodding by the government.”
One communication with Geek Squad supervisor Justin Meade noted:
“Agent assignments have been reviewed and are appropriate for operation of this source that the paid informant ‘continues to provide valuable information on [child pornography] matters’ and has ‘value due to his unique or potential access to FBI priority targets or intelligence responsive to FBI national and/or local collection.'”
This is absolutely scary. When you hand your computer over to someone to be repaired, you are already putting your trust in them. You trust them not to go snooping and to just fix the problem.
Geek Squad even talked about developing an application to be used to snoop around a customer’s computer. This kind of thing is illegal and could get the Geek Squad in trouble.
When asked about this in January, the company said that they don’t have a relationship with the FBI. We’ll see how that message changes now that these records are out there.
Featured image via Twitter.