New Report: Court Documents Show FBI Used the Geek Squad for What?
In the latest example of government surveillance of private citizens, comes the FBI using Best Buy Geek Squad repair technicians to inspect the contents of customer computers. Some techs seem to be on some sort of retainer or salary from the FBI to uncover actionable contents in a customer computer. This has come to light because of the court case: USA v. Mark Rettenmaier. Is this even possibly legal?
As Written By John Hayward for Breitbart:
The government has long denied that the FBI took advantage of Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” technicians to conduct surveillance on American citizens, but according to OC Weekly, recently unsealed court documents prove it really did happen.
In fact, according to these records, the FBI actually trained Best Buy employees in law enforcement tactics, gave them lists of targeted individuals, and actively encouraged computer repair technicians to search customers’ computers for evidence.
There has never been any question that computer technicians occasionally discover and report suspicious data, such as child pornography, to law enforcement. However, OC Weekly reports that “more than a dozen summaries of FBI memoranda filed inside Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse this month in USA v. Mark Rettenmaier contradict the official line” that such discoveries were always accidental:
One agency communication about 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.”
Other records show how Meade’s job gave him “excellent and frequent” access for “several years” to computers belonging to unwitting Best Buy customers, though agents considered him “underutilized” and wanted him “tasked” to search devices “on a more consistent basis.”
To enhance the Geek Squad role as a “tripwire” for the agency, another FBI record voiced the opinion that agents should “schedule regular meetings” with Meade “to ensure he is reporting.”
A Feb. 27, 2008, agency document memorialized plans “seeking the training of the Geek Squad Facility technicians designed to help them identify……
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