Legal Issues

by Tim Cushing


Filed Under:
fbi, geek squad, informants, searches, warrants

Companies:
best buy



The FBI Is Apparently Paying Geek Squad Members To Dig Around In Computers For Evidence Of Criminal Activity

from the maybe-these-are-the-'smart-people'-who-can-fix-Comey's-encryption-&# dept

Law enforcement has a number of informants working for it and the companies that already pay their paychecks, like UPS, for example. It also has a number of government employees working for the TSA, keeping their eyes peeled for "suspicious" amounts of cash it can swoop in and seize.

Unsurprisingly, the FBI also has a number of paid informants. Some of these informants apparently work at Best Buy -- Geek Squad by day, government informants by… well, also by day.

According to court records, Geek Squad technician John "Trey" Westphal, an FBI informant, reported he accidentally located on Rettenmaier's computer an image of "a fully nude, white prepubescent female on her hands and knees on a bed, with a brown choker-type collar around her neck." Westphal notified his boss, Justin Meade, also an FBI informant, who alerted colleague Randall Ratliff, another FBI informant at Best Buy, as well as the FBI. Claiming the image met the definition of child pornography and was tied to a series of illicit pictures known as the "Jenny" shots, agent Tracey Riley seized the hard drive.

Not necessarily a problem, considering companies performing computer/electronic device repair are legally required to report discovered child porn to law enforcement. The difference here is the paycheck. This Geek Squad member had been paid $500 for digging around in customers' computers and reporting his findings to the FBI. That changes the motivation from legal obligation to a chance to earn extra cash by digging around in files not essential to the repair work at hand.

More of a problem is the FBI's tactics. While it possibly could have simply pointed to the legal obligation Best Buy has to report discovered child porn, it proactively destroyed this argument by apparently trying to cover up the origin of its investigation, as well as a couple of warrantless searches.

Setting aside the issue of whether the search of Rettenmaier's computer constituted an illegal search by private individuals acting as government agents, the FBI undertook a series of dishonest measures in hopes of building a case, according to James D. Riddet, Rettenmaier's San Clemente-based defense attorney. Riddet says agents conducted two additional searches of the computer without obtaining necessary warrants, lied to trick a federal magistrate judge into authorizing a search warrant, then tried to cover up their misdeeds by initially hiding records.

The "private search" issue is mentioned briefly in OC Weekly's report, but should be examined more closely. Private searches are acceptable, but the introduction of cash payments, as well as the FBI having an official liaison with Best Buy suggests the searches aren't really "private." Instead, the FBI appears to be using private searches to route around warrant requirements. That's not permissible and even the FBI's belief that going after the "worst of worst" isn't going to be enough to salvage these warrantless searches.

As Andrew Fleischman points out at Fault Lines, the government's spin on the paid "private search" issue -- that it's "wild speculation" the Best Buy employee was acting as a paid informant when he discovered the child porn -- doesn't hold up if the situation is reversed. AUSA Anthony Brown's defensive statement is nothing more than the noise of a double standard being erected.

Flipping the script for a minute, would an AUSA say it was “wild speculation” that a man was a drug dealer when phone records showed he regularly contacted a distributor, he was listed as a drug dealer in a special book of drug dealers, and he had received $500.00 for drugs? Sorry to break it to you, Mr. Brown, but once you start getting paid for something, it’s tough to argue you’re just doing it for the love of the game.

In addition to these problems, the file discovered by the Best Buy tech was in unallocated space… something that points to almost nothing, legally-speaking.

[I]n Rettenmaier's case, the alleged "Jenny" image was found on unallocated "trash" space, meaning it could only be retrieved by "carving" with costly, highly sophisticated forensics tools. In other words, it's arguable a computer's owner wouldn't know of its existence. (For example, malware can secretly implant files.) Worse for the FBI, a federal appellate court unequivocally declared in February 2011 (USA v. Andrew Flyer) that pictures found on unallocated space did not constitute knowing possession because it is impossible to determine when, why or who downloaded them.

This important detail was apparently glossed over in the FBI's warrant application to search Rettenmaier's home and personal devices.

In hopes of overcoming this obstacle, they performed a sleight-of-hand maneuver, according to Riddet. The agents simply didn't alert Judge Marc Goldman that the image in question had been buried in unallocated space and, thus, secured deceitful authorization for a February 2012 raid on Rettenmaier's Laguna Niguel residence.

Courts have shown an often-excessive amount of empathy for the government's "outrageous" behavior when pursuing criminals. The fact that there's child porn involved budges the needle in the government's direction, but the obstacles the FBI has placed in its own way through its deceptive behavior may prevent it from salvaging this case.

The case is already on very shaky ground, with the presiding judge questioning agents' "odd memory losses," noting several discrepancies between the FBI's reports and its testimony, and its "perplexing" opposition to turning over documents the defense has requested.

In any event, it appears the FBI has a vast network of informants -- paid or otherwise -- working for both private companies and the federal government. Considering the FBI is already the beneficiary of legal reporting requirements, this move seems ill-advised. It jeopardizes the legitimacy of the evidence, even before the FBI engages in the sort of self-sabotaging acts it appears to have done here.

Underneath it all is the perplexing and disturbing aversion to adhering to the Fourth Amendment we've seen time and time again from law enforcement agencies, both at local and federal levels. Anything that can be done to avoid seeking a warrant, and anything that creates an obfuscatory paper trail, is deployed to make sure the accused faces an even more uphill battle once they arrive in court.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:50am

    Works for me...

    People will begin to see the value of their computers and NOT turn them over to a bunch of shady nerds in a store.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:55am

      Re: Works for me...

      What kind of dumb shit is this? Not everyone is a computer technician.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:00am

        Re: Re: Works for me...

        Don't care if you're a tech or not, if you hand over any device, folder, or piece of paper with all the personal info about yourself that your home computer probably has to someone, not know exactly who is going to have access to it, give unrestricted access, and then not be there watching over the shoulder of whoever is viewing this data, you are an idiot.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:03am

          Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

          Be prepared to pay a LOT for the service.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Jason, 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:09am

            - - - BOYCOTT BEST BUY & THEIR GEEKS - -

            Our government is a fascist one. Look at the seal of senate, they have bundle of sticks with axe, symbol of fascists.
            We can't trust corporations and US govt ruling over us.
            Stop funding them, legally.
            WHAT IS TAXED d ot c om

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:54am

          Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

          I know several people who repair PCs and they would not mind you shoulder surfing. They are not the typical geeksquad ass clown either.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

            1) The Geek Squad WOULD probably mind you shoulder surfing basically because even if all on the up&up it show their incompetence and make you wonder why you or anyone would let them touch your rig (hell, when getting laptops/tablets/etc from them for less savvy relatives I have refused Geek Squad
            "set-up" and left the store - regardless, even those machines I do accept, I purge or wipe depending how bad - dealing with the OEM ad-ware and potential mal-ware is at least documented.

            2) Seeing as I don't trust the Geek Squad with a NEW UNUSED machine, why TF would I ever let them touch a machine I had been using?

            3) I've seen some photos of the machines brought to them - I acknowledge there are some idiots out there who probably shouldn't own modern tech.

            4) You wouldn't sell or give your old machine/drive without wiping it would you? Why the hell would you let an unknown 3rd party full access to it with tools you don't have and capabilities you unaware of WITHOUT keeping a close eye on them?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Smokin, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

          Problem is anyone with even a little bit of computer knowledge could extract the data right in front of you and you would not have a clue.
          So yeah if your going to trust your personal data to someone you should have trust in that person. However just watching will do nothing in stopping that data from being taken.
          Better to have a neighbor kid with computer skills fix your box in front of you than the Geek Squad. Pilfering data is nothing new to the Geek Squad and its well known. I'm sure a Google search would turn up info on that.
          .
          Trust me, I'm an IT Network Specialist. :-)

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:03am

        Re: Re: Works for me...

        You need to be careful *who* you let work on your computer. There are probably people out there who would plant stuff on a computer for $500.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

          And probably a lot less.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Will Moments, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

            Yes. I have had direct exposure to the "technicians" in these cases and its a tough, not very well paying job in many places. Many times I find people who are out of rehab, battling alcohol and other drugs, etc.They tend to be marginally tied to any employer, so loyalty is low.

            Not trying to know computer technicians (used to be one), but the people I worked with would *jump* at such money.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

          Not only that but I hear that what some techs might do is they may try and steal ram from an unsuspecting computer illiterate person and return their computer with less ram.

          Basic computer literacy, along with basic literacy in how to handle money, should be taught in high school. Handing over your computer that may have all sorts of confidential information to a random Best Buy nerd (ie: bank statements and transactions, names, addresses, etc...) is risky.

          Then again having malware on your computer is also risky. Either way you can get personal information stolen and be subject to identity theft. The solution is for people to be educated about how to use Windows.

          Luckily I noticed that the younger generation is more proficient than older people (but not always).

          It's funny when I was taking one of my chemistry classes our chemistry teacher was really old. He was very sharp for his age, had a very good memory and was very well spoken and competent. He worked for NASA in the past and he helped develop the fuel that put the first man on the moon. Yet he could barely work Windows and it was his students that were showing him how to do what he wanted (ie: he partly used powerpoint and whatnot). I think he's probably retired by now. This guy knew everything there was to know about chemistry but couldn't operate or troubleshoot Microsoft Windows very well. He's not the first old brilliant teacher I've had that couldn't work Microsoft Windows. The younger professors have no problems working their computers and are themselves very proficient. So part of it is a generational thing I guess.

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          • identicon
            ferb, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

            I used to work for geek squad. I wouldn't worry about them stealing physical hardware out of your computer. People used to bring in computers that were not that old all the time and recycle them. If you wanted to steal some hardware that is where you could steal it. At the store I worked for never knew anyone that did though. I would be more worried about the people from foreign countries who do all the actually work on the computers. This process is called Agent Johnny Utah. Dozens of virus and malware infected computers are connected to the same local network and put on the internet to connect to geek squad agents in third world countries who make far less money than American Workers.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            GWB, 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

            I've noticed a LOT of younger folks just assume the tech. They don't have any idea how it works. Oh sure, they know how to swipe left and install apps, but they have zero idea how to run a command window or anything about the lower levels of programming.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2017 @ 7:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

              You don't really need to know how to program to know how to repair a computer and remove malware. Worst case you backup what you need and delete everything and start from scratch.

              Knowing how to use a command prompt can be useful at times, especially in Linux (but someone using Linux doesn't need your help), but in this day and age it's not nearly as necessary as it used to be. I could code if I had to (I've taught myself to code as a child, though I haven't done it in years, I used to be able to code in C/C++, basic/VB, HTML, a little bit of assembly. I used to be able to query databases with Oracle which isn't really coding) and I've never used it to fix a computer. Back in the days the closest thing I needed to coding to fixing a computer was changing a bat file or a sys file (autoexec.bat or config.sys) and those days are long gone.

              There are some things that you should know such as how to check the manufacturer and digital signature of a suspicious file. System files should be properly digitally signed or they might be infected.

              But then again these days you should really have all your data files backed up and if something is that badly wrong with your system you simply reinstall.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:41am

        Re: Re: Works for me...

        might be time to learn

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    • identicon
      JC, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:49am

      Re: Works for me...

      Funny part is, people don't realize that they don't "fix" your computers in the store. They either plug them in and some guy from India remotes in to your PC and "fixes" it or it is shipped off somewhere else for a 3rd party to work on.

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      • identicon
        Brice Jones, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:09am

        Re: Re: Works for me...

        They actually fix quite a few things in house. I worked as a GS manager for a couple years.
        Best buy has a proprietary software tool for diagnostics and repair. If the problem is hardware it's almost always returned to a service center however.

        On another note.. this article about dumb as shit.
        The biggest "spying" that goes on is dumb people with naked pictures on their machines. The store employees will gather and laugh at you.
        If you wanted to spy and keep it secret you definitely would NOT use unskilled workers making hourly wages at best buy

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        • identicon
          I.T. Guy, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

          So as a manager you knew your employees looked through things they were not supposed to and let them keep their jobs?


          "If you wanted to spy and keep it secret you definitely would NOT use unskilled workers making hourly wages at best buy"
          John "Trey" Westphal, an FBI informant.

          Apparently BB/GS managers need not possess reading comprehension skills.

          I have had a GS boot disk and there is nothing proprietary about them. A bunch of readily available virus/malware/HW test tools and some command line scripts for the 10/hr "tech" to run.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

            The people who bring their computers in to Geek Squad are clueless.

            I first of all have no sympathy for perverts getting dimed out by a GS agent. I've never seen anyone get a reward when I worked there, but that's great if the FBI is paying some people for it.

            Rule of thumb, if your computer has content on it, that you know could get you sent to prison for having, don't take your computer in to get fixed.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

              No you idiots...People have no right to search for things that aren't pertaining to what they are doing. That is a violation of the 4th amendment. If you make it a habit to peruse peoples private photos when they bring in their computer YOU are a criminal. Now the fact that that every so often there is somebody with some shit that they shouldn't have on there like child porn that is wrong no doubt. But YOU are wrong too if you are searching through peoples photos...How many people might have very private pictures not related to child pornography on their computer and you take it upon yourself to search through it because your going to be a snitch for the gov....that is a justification to be a pervert yourself and you are no better then the supposed criminals your trying to catch... IMO if your secretly snooping through trying to find that type of shit YOUR probably into that shit and your the sicko.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Skeptik, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:14pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                Surprised techs would snoop through your stuff like perverts? That's rich! 10 years here with a major domestic computer manufacturer doing assembly line and depot service. You send your comp back to us and my techs snooped through your stuff for shits & giggles. Naked pics of your wife on the comp? Bonus, we shared them around and compared them to other hapless idiot's girls. That's just the way the world is, and us IT types are the biggest pervs of all. Scrub your stuff before handing it over. Better yet, take a hammer to the drive and buy a new one. Ya'll have been warned.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                  I am not sure if this is an attempt to be funny or sarcastic, but just in case it wasn't:
                  IT people are not perverts who will look through your computer... perverted people will do that. I have no illusions that all my peers are good guys, because that would be law enforcement level delusional. You however, just said that all people in IT are perverts that will look through peoples files for laughs... from the guys who invented the microchip to the programmers that make the best tools you use every day. I really hope you get fired, because in my opinion: you and your techs do not belong in any position anywhere near IT and for the sake of my profession, that would be preferable.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:06pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                    "...my techs..."

                    I'm calling bullshit on his post - no way a tone-deaf asshole like him has staff.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2017 @ 12:08am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                Well first of all, Geek Squad is not the government. They have absolutely no obligation to adhere to the 4th amendment. And really though, how would you expect the technician to fix your computer without going through it?

                Viruses and trojans get copied to various directories on the drive. There may be a bad sector that's causing the computer to crash, etc.

                If you're worried about your privacy, don't take the computer in to get fixed. A little common sense goes a long way. Or better yet, don't look at kiddie porn and you have nothing to fear.

                You sicko.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2017 @ 6:11am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                  Yes they are agents the minute they accepted an agreement to act as ones to do search without probable caus at all. Note, that there is bb official corporate policy of at least one fbi informant on duty doing search. That is not one runaway schmuck there doing tricks.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

              In theory it would be okay, BUT that is if you don't take into account that no matter where you work and how "good" a workplace is, there will be greedy and bad people there. This picture that was found had been deleted and there is no way to determine when and how it was placed.
              It could be that the owner had downloaded it on purpose or maybe the computer had been bought used with a formatted drive. Maybe it was downloaded by accident with other files. Maybe it was the GS guy who was one of the bad or thoughtless ones, that just wanted to make $500 and didn't have enough brains (or simply didn't care) to see that it would devastate a persons life.
              I don't know the rate of good vs bad people in GS, but I would guess that shifts when money is involved and with the FBI's eagerness to prosecute no matter how little actual evidence there is and the general public's thirst for blood when facing such things, we would be facing more false accusations than if it weren't there.
              It is not only the fact that the falsely accused will be labeled during the trial, but even if they are judged to be innocent (which they should if all they have is a deleted picture) there is the court of the public that don't always take things such as "innocent in a court of law" serious. This persons life will be worse afterwards which is why it is not worth the cost of using these methods.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                simpkins5 (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:05am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                A lot of folks here are missing an important point. Unallocated space is not where deleted files go to be written over.

                Unallocated space is a portion of the HD that has not been partioned. There is NO access to this area for the average user.
                A deleted file will not go to unallocated space. GS would have to use a deep probing program to access this space.

                As the article mentions, "Worse for the FBI, a federal appellate court unequivocally declared in February 2011 (USA v. Andrew Flyer) that pictures found on unallocated space did not constitute knowing possession because it is impossible to determine when, why or who downloaded them."

                If this person took their PC to Best Buy for repair, they obviously didn't have the technical knowledge of how to partition a drive.

                This file could have come from a previous owner of the hd/pc who repartitioned the drive prior to sale.
                The drive could have previously been "cloned" by a bit by bit copier. There are many ways as the court stated, that the unallocated space can contain a file.

                By the way, I am totally against CP. I just don't think in this case, the FBI has clear evidence.

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                • icon
                  Animedude5555 (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 3:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                  This article may have simply used the wrong term. Deleted files are ones who's entry in the FAT (file allocation table) has a certain flag bit set. This tells the operating system to ignore that entry in the FAT. So in a sense, it isn't allocated. There's an entry in the FAT that points to it, but the OS ignores that entry because it's marked as deleted. Though technically allocated space refers to a partition which doesn't have a FAT (or other similar structure that defines how data is to be found on that partition). But for a layman, any file that is deleted can be thought of as being allocated. That's probably why the article used the term "unallocated". The site is called Techdirt, but it isn't for uber geeks who have a lot of technical knowledge. It's for the layman, and is written in such a way as to be able to convey technical concepts to a person who doesn't have extensive technical knowledge.

                  It's called writing for your audience. It's something you learn in middle school or high school English class.

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                  • icon
                    Animedude5555 (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 3:24pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                    Typo correction:

                    Where I wrote:
                    Though technically allocated space refers to a partition which doesn't have a FAT (or other similar structure that defines how data is to be found on that partition).

                    It should have said:
                    Though technically unallocated space refers to a partition which doesn't have a FAT (or other similar structure that defines how data is to be found on that partition).

                    That is, the word "allocated" in that sentence should have instead been "unallocated".

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                  • icon
                    simpkins5 (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 7:57pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                    "It's called writing for your audience."

                    So the court findings that it was unallocated were writing to the audience too? Why else would the previous court findings be mentioned?

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                    • icon
                      Animedude5555 (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:18pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                      Court findings are written by a judge. They aren't necessarily computer experts. A judge might use an incorrect term to try to describe a technical detail that they don't understand fully themselves.

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                      • icon
                        simpkins5 (profile), 13 Jan 2017 @ 6:59pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                        It's a shame we took phones, email and internet away from judges. Now they can't contact anyone for technical advice and they just make bad, uneducated rulings. /s

                        Sorry, but you're stretching way too much to try to salvage your claim.

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            • icon
              Manabi (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

              I think you missed the part in this case where the image found was in slack space. That means the GS employee had to run forensics software to find the image at all. This particular case goes way, way beyond someone digging through your files when you bring a computer in. This employee was hunting for stuff that wasn't even accessible from the file system. (In this case it was most likely a deleted picture, or something that ended up in slack space from web browsing. However malware could have put it there as well. There's probably no way to prove how it go there, so there's likely no actual case. Thus why the FBI didn't inform the judge of this fact when getting a warrant. Otherwise the warrant would have been denied.)

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              • icon
                Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 4:15pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                A person who is a genuine pedophile, is going to delete their pictures. Finding a deleted picture is not proof of innocence, but rather proof that they committed a crime, KNEW that it was a crime, and tried to COVER UP the crime. If it's in slack space that makes them even MORE guilty. If a virus downloaded a CP image to your computer, you wouldn't know about it, and it would remain in a normal (not deleted) state on your harddrive. The fact that it's even deleted means the person knew the picture existed on their harddrive, and they deleted it, which is highly indicative of them having intentionally put it on their harddrive in the first place.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:08pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                  Not so. It is possible pic was cached automatically and deleted automatically without Guy's knowledge. To make matter worse fbi lied to magistrate to get a warrant afterward.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:28pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                    Predicitive caching in most newer browsers can lead to this problem quite easily, and you would never know it unless you're watching your cache constantly.

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                  • icon
                    Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:33pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                    A virus won't cache or delete anything. If a virus plants CP on your computer, it's going to be in plain view, though in some folder that you aren't likely to look in (like windows\system32 folder), so you won't be able to find it and remove it, unless you knew to look there for it.

                    The fact that it's deleted suggests that it was something well known about by the computer owner, and that they deleted it to hide the evidence.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:20pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                      Who said it was virus responsible for pic being there? Simple browsing cache with size limits will do.

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                      • icon
                        Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:29pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                        The fact that he had a child porn pic in that case would be proof of browsing such a site. That by the way is illegal.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:49pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                          Not necessarily, and that is called reasonable doubt. Pic could have been on an innocent page for some reason, and many times people don't scroll whole page anyway.

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                          • icon
                            Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:59pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                            Reasonable doubt would be if there was forensic proof of a virus. If there's no malware on the computer, or there is forensic proof of a virus but after analysis it's determined that the virus wasn't capable of downloading external files to the computer, then that excuse goes right out the window. I'm sure such a virus analysis would most certainly be done by the prosecution to eliminate the possibility that it was a virus, to make sure that the defense attorney couldn't claim that "maybe it's a virus".

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                        • identicon
                          mews, 10 Jan 2017 @ 10:16am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                          A person can be sent porn through email unsolicited and trash it b/c he doesn't want it. I had someone with access to my phone actually open a porn site account using my business credit card he heard given over the phone to a supplier. I guess the photos were not on my computer but payments to the site were on my card.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:29pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                      > A virus won't cache or delete anything.

                      Because you say so, huh?
                      Excuse me, but you're full of it.

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                • identicon
                  Skeptik, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:27pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                  Not true in all cases. Moderately savvy computer users keep their "keeper" pics & media files in known directories and run utilities to scrub the rest of the drive for trash files just to cleanup mof HDD space. This includes temp folders, cache files, and other junk directories created by random surfing and online activities. I don't review each file individually before I delete it- I specify file types to purge, exclude designated folders, and then let the utilities shit can the garbage files. That's not evidence of guilt and/or intent, it's evidence of routine HDD maintenance. The authorities need to work harder than that.

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                  • icon
                    Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:04pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                    It will be up to the jury to decide. One thing is certain, this case will end up going to court. Finding an illicit pic on a computer (regardless of how it got there), is enough to go to trial with. Whether or not he's found guilty will be up to the jury.

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                    • identicon
                      londen, 10 Jan 2017 @ 5:16am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                      Well, it may get to court but it won't get far, and it definitely won't go before a jury. Anything discovered by a search warrant obtained by false means will be thrown out by the judge. The FBI will press hard to get the defendant to plea bargain. If he doesn't bite, they will probably drop the case.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2017 @ 6:48am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Works for me...

                        it did not get far already, as it came to light right away Feds lied to judge in first shot.

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    • identicon
      Possible corruption in future, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:33am

      Re: Works for me...

      Reporting it is one thing getting paid is another. My concern would be some geeksquad member planting something so he can make another $500.00.

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    • identicon
      Yet another, 10 Jan 2017 @ 3:21pm

      Re: Works for me...

      One doesn't need to be. If you have done something untoward, illegal or not, you should scrub your computer before taking it in.

      There are too many stories of techs or hackers finding and releasing private materials online (The Fappening), or using them for their own ends (News of the World.

      Those two were phone hacks, but no what happened to Hong Kong actor Edison Chen, who brought in HIS laptop for repair without removing is many selfies of sex with several female co-stars. This led to the studio enforced one year hiatus of Gillian Chung and the divorce of another actress.

      So, techie or not, if you have something that could get you in trouble of any kind, it is incumbent on you to figure out how to get rid of it.

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  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:50am

    Missed opportunity

    Wait, wait - You mean I could have gotten PAID to snoop through customer pictures back when I ran a camera store?!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:00am

    IS this why it takes so long to get repairs done? There are spending time looking at all images and videos just in case...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:02am

      Re:

      I assume the same about my mechanic, must be off joyriding in my car. Or my plumber, must have been taco night last night. These things make way more sense than maybe they're busy, and ffs it's retail, you know they pay low and staff less. Lets not be so quick to assume everyone on the planet has some evil agenda against you.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:23am

        Re: Re:

        Did you even read the article? No one is saying the people in Best Buy have any kind of evil plot against anyone. The FBI has ADMITTED TO PAYING Best Buy employees to look through computers.

        It's not paranoia to believe proven, uncontested facts.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "It's not paranoia to believe proven, uncontested facts."

          ^Tell that the the morons who still don't think that Trump won the election and Russia won it for him. I'll believe Assange - who said the only hacking that happened was by our own government - over the FBI under the Obama administration any day. The state of Georgia's election commission traced intrusion on their computers to Obama's Department of Homeland Security.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The key word in the original quote is "uncontested". The political example you gave is definitely not an uncontested claim or fact.

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          • icon
            Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Leave it to a progressive snowflake to bring up the election in a tech article. Tissue paper?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Tell that the the morons who still don't think that Trump won the election and Russia won it for him.

            It's OK snowflake. It's OK. There'll be an article where you can whine about this shortly.

            This one isn't it, though.

            Try the Bulgarian Public Radio one next. Now THAT'S a test of being able to insert this political bullshit where it doesn't belong.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Are you an idiot? Read his post again. The original poster is saying that he thinks liberals are idiots for thinking Putin stole the election for Trump. He goes on to say he doesn't trust Obama. The "snowflake" youre saying is "whining" is actually on YOUR side. So now we know who the real whiners are...

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          • identicon
            Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm just so glad that someone finally found a place on the internet where they could talk about the election.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          trick is, they offer reward and geeks take unto themselves to rummage extra through hard drive. That is not limited to child porn, as proceedings revealed. Whole host of other crimes as well is on fbi shopping list. That's not even close to legal definition of search.

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          • icon
            Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Those guys aren't FBI employees. They are ordinary citizens who are seeking a reward for catching badguys. They are bounty hunters. It's perfectly legal.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              They became gov agents, thus 4th apply.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I don't think you get it. Bounty Hunters go after people who already have a warrant out for their arrest.

              They don't start stalking people and looking through their windows and trash who the feds don't know are criminals in hope they can find dirt on them and then turn them in for a reward.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:53pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                bounty hunters, if I recall execute contracts already in place. That makes them irrelevant to guys employed to rummage private drives whithout limits.

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                • icon
                  Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:40pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  There is a "wanted" poster in place. That's what you seem to be missing. The "wanted" poster is in this case, not for a specific person, but rather for any computer that has child porn on it. This is no different than a bounty hunter. This is just the modern day version of a bounty hunter, because it involves computers, technology that never used to exist in the old days.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2017 @ 1:14am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    The title you're looking for is "Surety Agent" or "Bondsman", "Bounty Hunter" is layman slang. Weather it was the days of yesteryear or today, you must be bonded and certified to be a Surety Agent, Bounty Hunter, Process Server, Bondsman or any other form law enforcement per SCOTUS ruling (1872 Taylor v. Taintor) you are an law enforcement agent of the State, or in this case the Federal Government.

                    As far as "wanted poster", a court writ must be issued...aka "warrant" for arrest/search/ect. The FBI can not give Geek Squad or any other citizen Carte Blanche to search for evidence, what is commonly known as a "fishing expedition", it's a violation privacy law or the 4th Amendment. The FBI must have reasonable suspension a crime has been committed and then must apply for a warrant, not the other way around. We don't live in Minority Report, all citizens are granted the right to their 4th Amendment.

                    Geek Squard or anyone else being paid for their services eludes to employment as contract agents with the FBI.

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            • identicon
              Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Bounty hunting is fine, as long as you don't do it when you're supposed to be working for someone else, and you aren't stomping around someone else's property. As it stands, Best Buy isn't getting it's full value on whatever they're paying for this employee, any more than if the employee runs out in the middle of their shift to pick up Uber passengers, and just like when you grant the heater repair guy access to your basement to fix your heater, you shouldn't be finding him in the bathroom going through the medicine cabinet, if you grant someone access to your computer to repair it, they should be spending their time with it repairing it.

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          • identicon
            Skeptik, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            As I stated above, we tech types do that snooping for free for our own amusement. Tell one they get paid extra for it and gtfo of the way! And anyone who claims to be a techie and comes in here claiming different is being disingenuous (that's a liar).

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:06am

    How much do they pay to get an image planted?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:39am

      Re:

      I would guess $500? Really goddamn troubling that they pay for finding stuff. There is really nothing stopping technicians from just planting CP when they want to. Being behind on your bills or in serious debt can make someone really desperate. Not a good combo

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:32am

    Violation of the 4th Amendment through the Exclusionary Rule. It is one thing if the Geek Squad members discover a crime through inadvertent discovery but since they are being paid to actively seek out crime the Geek Squad members would be acting as agents of the FBI. Unconstitutional.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:05am

      Re:

      Its the same twisting of the third party exception:-
      because its legal for a third party to voluntarily pass on information, we can demand that they give us information when we want it.

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      • identicon
        Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:11am

        Re: Re:

        It is similar, but not the same. If the Best Buy employees are being paid by the government to do this, then it can be argued that they are acting as agents of the government, and therefore they are not third parties at all. That would make them subject to warrant requirements.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:48am

    STASI 2.0

    I fully agree that child porn scums should be punished, but methods like described in the post are STASI 2.0. It could give informants an incentive to plant evidence for some extra income, besides circumventing law. If an IT service tech finds something by accident he's obliged to report it anyway.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:43am

      Re: STASI 2.0

      I was thinking about it. Was it a single picture? Was it saved in a collection or in the download folder? Was it a cache pic? Is there enough trust that the employee didn't plant the evidence to make a few bucks?

      I wouldn't say this is Stasi 2.0. Yet. It's the framework being put in place.

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      • icon
        CrystalRivers (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:40am

        Re: Re: STASI 2.0

        It was found in "unallocated space" on the drive which means it was not accessible to the user of the computer - it was a deleted file and I have to wonder if maybe the drive maker recycles hard drives they put in their computers too - that's a loophole for the defense you could drive a Mack truck through

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        • identicon
          Skeptik, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: STASI 2.0

          Yes, we recycle HDDs. And although we do a low-level reformat, we do not typically shred the data before laying on a new image. That takes time, and time is money. Therefore any unshredded bytes are theoretically recoverable with the right forensic software.

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    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:47am

      Re: STASI 2.0

      Except it was no accident. You don't just happen to find things in unallocated space. My thinking is these little turds know damn well users will delete things if capable and go looking for it.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:49am

    And this is why, ladies and gentleman, you encrypt anything you don't want snooped. I was honestly shocked when I needed to ask for maintenance under warranty and the tech person asked for my password. I was like, what? Make it turn on and then if you need to check the configurations you'll do while I'm looking. Sure this guy may have had CP on his machine but it could be pictures of his family, pictures of him and his girl in the nudes etc.

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  • identicon
    Bert Darrell, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:51am

    FBI in the Obama era

    One more disaster in Obama's FBI history and one more reason why January 20 can't happen soon enough. Done with 8 years of abject lies, constant deception, blatant violation of numerous laws and, worst of all, stepping all over the U.S. CONSTITUTION.

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    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:10am

      Re: FBI in the Obama era

      Try 16 years, or longer. This isn't just an Obama thing, and it's not going to change just because there's a new president.

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      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re: FBI in the Obama era

        That. And Trump doesn't seem to be worried with restoring Constitutional rights as well.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:33am

          Re: Re: Re: FBI in the Obama era

          I struggled with that fact in this election. I saw no reason to believe Trump or Clinton would slow down the dismantling of our privacy rights, so I just had to try to ignore the issue. It's a pity too, because that's close to the top of my list of priorities.

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          • icon
            Ninja (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: FBI in the Obama era

            Indeed. I'm talking about Trump because he won but Clinton would be as bad at least in this issue.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: FBI in the Obama era

              Well if there is one good thing it is that Trump seem to be more forward on what he intends even if it ends up being the same things the other guys did.
              It will be interesting to see if people will react differently when instead of the typical backdoor dealings and shady agreements, they will just be told directly "Hey, I am going to make things crappy for you. Deal with it". I consider these next years a science experiment in human psychology.

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              • icon
                Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:40pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: FBI in the Obama era

                I think we already witnessed an interesting experiment in human psychology on election night, with massive meltdown of idiots embarassing themselves who never contemplated the possibility that their corrupt candidate could actually lose.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Derek Kerton (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: FBI in the Obama era

            Yeah. As long as we keep re-litigating and voting on gay rights, abortion, and trickle down, we can't get any other issues on the national docket.

            When do we get to vote on issues like:
            - 4th Amendment
            - Privacy
            - Intellectual Property

            No candidate ever needs to take a stand on these issues because they're overshadowed by the rerun issues, or worse, "email!". As long as the people don't vote on these issues, the "machine of gov't, both D and R" will keep taking it in the direction it chooses.

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    • icon
      JMT (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:43pm

      Re: FBI in the Obama era

      So in your world of ignorance and fantasy, all those bad things started8 years ago and will stop on the 20th?

      Anyone genuinely concerned about constitutional violations would not be so eager to see a Trump administration take power.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        TripMN, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:31pm

        Re: Re: FBI in the Obama era

        What about those of us who are worried about any administration that was on the ticket in November taking power?... talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel for candidates.

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  • identicon
    Mark John, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:53am

    Perhaps we need HIPAA like laws for our electronic devices. And Tech-security compliance requirements punishable by jail, fines, or extremely large civil awards.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      We don't need another law for this. It's already unconstitutional.

      I would also not look at HIPAA regulations as a good way to do anything except increase costs for companies involved. They do not seem to have done much to protect our medical information.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:43am

      Re:

      Unfortunately, the ACA pretty much destroyed HIPPA. Those protections don't mean much when health care providers are now required to turn over just about everything to the government. In fact, the ACA mandated the government to create far more detailed files on Americans than just their medical records. It basically required a low-mid level FBI file to be opened on every American. Just try to sign up for Obamacare, and see how much they know about your personal life. I only did it to check prices, and I quit because it was so disturbing.

      Yes, it's still illegal to divulge most medical information to private third parties. But as much as I despise Monsanto, I just don't see how they could cause me as much grief as the government could.

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      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re:

        That sounds like utter, made up bullshit.

        So mind tell me how the FBI is getting info on patients at my healthcare location?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you really that naïve?

          http://www.medicalrecords.com/physicians/electronic-medical-records-deadline

          http://www.medicalrecord s.com/consumers/who-has-access-to-my-electronic-medical-records

          "As for any type of information, your electronic patient records can be released if ordered by a court or by health agencies or law enforcement agencies with a valid subpoena or legal order, and may be required in certain situations."

          Note that they specify a subpoena OR legal order. Not even a warrant. Just a law enforcement agency saying they need it.

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          • identicon
            Baron von Robber, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So? You can have any information handed over if ordered by a court. Why is it just healthcare? Google, Twitter, etc would have to do the same?

            Keep movin goalposts, you're almost the Atlantic.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Your reading comprehension is seriously deficient. Re-read the direct quote I put in the previous message. No court order is required.

              And that's just from the first legitimate looking website I came across, in a 30 second search. If you're actually interested in the subject, why don't you look in to it yourself? I did, several years ago. I can't quote the specifics of things I read in 2010, off the top of my head. I'm sorry, my memory just isn't that good. But I suspect your disbelief is based on politics rather than knowledge, so I see no reason to dig through thousands of pages again, just to provide you with evidence you'll dismiss out of hand.

              When did people who describe themselves as liberal become so pro-establishment? What happened to questioning The Man? This article is explicitly about The Man looking for creative new ways to deny you your rights. Do you really believe this is an isolated case?

              Seriously, please try to sign up for an ACA plan. Don't actually do it, just go through the process. You'll be disgusted at how much they tell you about yourself, and how little of it the government has any right to know about a presumably law abiding citizen. Then ask yourself if you really believe they're just ignoring all that medical data they've required to be put into electronic form.

              I'm done. Peace.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Baron von Robber, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:51am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                And in the 10 years at my healthcare facility, 0 requests by the FBI to access our med records.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  > And in the 10 years at my healthcare facility, 0 requests by the FBI to access our med records.

                  Why should they ask when they already have them?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Baron von Robber, 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:26pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    And how did they get them? Snuck in the middle of the night?

                    Serious delusions like yours should be treated by a medical professional.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:20pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Yours is the kind of ignorance they love.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Baron von Robber, 10 Jan 2017 @ 6:43am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Yea, I have a internet troll that I'm supposed to believe the FBI is sneaking into my facility and getting data.

                        Speak with your uncle dad about your delusions.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 4:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "As for any type of information, your electronic patient records can be released if ordered by a court or by health agencies or law enforcement agencies with a valid subpoena or legal order, and may be required in certain situations."

                "...can be released if ordered by a court" - In other words, albeit cleverly switched around, a COURT ORDER.

                I think it's yourself who's reading comprehension is seriously deficient.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Obama signed an executive action last year instructing all shinks to report their patients. Not a peep from their association. Shrinks are now government snitches.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      SamanthaCruz, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:04am

      Re: HIPAA

      Hipaa is hardly a model for a solution to government snooping; that law basically REQUIRES health providers to turn over their medical records to the government.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:24am

        Re: Re: HIPAA

        Not without a court order.

        Can you point to the HIPPA portion that says this?

        If so, my healthcare facility isn't compliant as we do no such thing.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:12am

          Re: Re: Re: HIPAA

          I don't know anything about HIPPA, specifically. But in the ACA, section 3015 states:

          "The Secretary shall collect and aggregate consistent data on quality and resource use measures from information systems used to support health care delivery to implement the public reporting of performance information..."

          And later gives him the power to:

          "...determine the type of information that is useful to stakeholders and the format that best facilitates use of the reports.."

          Also in the same section:

          "Such information shall be tailored to respond to the differing needs of hospitals and other institutional health care providers, physicians and other clinicians, patients, consumers, researchers, policymakers, States, and other stakeholders, as the Secretary may specify."


          If you're looking for the section that says "The NSA can spy on citizens at will," that's not how governments write laws. But if you understand legalese, this clearly spells out that the secretary, presumably of HHS, has the authority to determine the scope of his own data collection powers, and to name stakeholders. Beyond that, States, researchers, and policy makers are already explicitly listed as stakeholders. He can collect any medical data he wants, and share it with whomever he chooses. It's right there, in the text of the law.

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          • identicon
            Baron von Robber, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: HIPAA

            So this is for the sign up for health care exchange sites. Big difference from getting medical records at clinics/hospitals/doctor offices.

            Woo hoo, you made it to the Atlantic! Marianas Trench next?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              art guerrilla (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: HIPAA

              curious as to WHY you would think that because there (may or may not be) some law to prevent gummint goons accessing medical info, that they will weally, weally, we double-dog pwomise not to do so...
              um, what turnip wagon did you just jump off of, hayseed ? ? ?
              i mean you SERIOUSLY think that will stop them from doing so ? ? ? if so, you simply don't have a clue of how the world works...
              AND you run some sort of clinic ? ? ? why is that not very comforting to me to realize a pollyanna is in charge of our med info....

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  • identicon
    AnonCow, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:58am

    In what scenario does a service technician need to view specific, individual image files that are stored on my hard drive to effect the repair of the machine?

    That would be the equivalent of a plumber going through your bedroom drawers as part of his "job" of unclogging your drain.

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  • identicon
    Shae Mac, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:03am

    RULE 41

    All of you fuckers who ignored RULE41 fucked us all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:10am

    Bust or blackmail the customer at best buy.

    So $500 to bust a customer, or a couple thousand to claim something was on the laptop and offer to get rid of it. Hmmmm.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:41am

      Re: Bust or blackmail the customer at best buy.

      And become an accessory to child porn? Being registered as a sex offender for life? No thanks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Animedude5555 (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:25pm

        Re: Re: Bust or blackmail the customer at best buy.

        If you did wipe it for a customer after they payed you "under the table", then that would get rid of the picture, and thus any proof that you were involved in getting rid of it would be wiped when the pictures were wiped. No way to prove that you wiped anything, or that such pictures ever even existed on the computer.

        Yes, a GS employee could do something bad like that, but I usually trust most people.

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    identicon
    Steven Moshlak, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:12am

    When you are busted...

    Guess what I do for a living, folks, for over 20 years? Computer forensics, especially criminal defense. I do a fair share of "kiddie porn" cases, for the defense. If and when you do get busted, please be so kind as to pick-up the telephone, to retain my services.

    Confidential informant or not, it looks like there will be a heck of a lot of dismissals, on the horizon, for these types of cases.

    I had a recently like case, dismissed / terminated.

    Steven Moshlak President, Computerlegalexperts.com http://www.computerlegalexperts.com 202-262-0225

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  • identicon
    Johnny Doh, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:14am

    $500 dollars a pop

    I would be copying porn on to every laptop I fix.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:28am

      Re: $500 dollars a pop

      Till another employee found out you were doing that and get $500 for turning you in.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:27pm

        Re: Re: $500 dollars a pop

        Not if I plant kiddie pr0n on their own computers first and rat them out as soon as they make a claim against. This Stasi crap has a life if its own. That's how "Democratic" Germany worked. Survival of the filthiest.

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      • identicon
        Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:19am

        Re: Re: $500 dollars a pop

        Why would the feds offer a $500 reward for killing the golden goose? The reward is for catching people with child porn on their computers, not for catching people that put it on other peoples' computers.

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    • identicon
      Agent Joe, 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:45pm

      Re: $500 dollars a pop

      Ya, and you would get into big trouble because everything is time stamped when being modified and transferred into a computer. I work for Geek Squad and if a person is dumb enough, and sick enough to bring in a machine with child porn, than they deserve much worse than Geek Squad turning them into authority but that is all we can do, but they do deserve much worse than that.

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  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:22am

    Nice... so instead of actually fixing your PC they are running a utility to recover deleted files then lying about how they found them.

    "According to court records, Geek Squad technician John "Trey" Westphal, an FBI informant, reported he accidentally located on Rettenmaier's computer"

    "the image in question had been buried in unallocated space"

    It's like trying to say to your girlfriend/wife... "I accidentally had sex with that woman."

    I bet the tech in question saved a copy for himself before turning the guy in. I'd be curious if a warrant were issued to search John "Trey" Westphal's PC how many customer pictures, MP3's, and Movies would be found on his PC.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:49am

      Re:

      The customer could have asked for recovery of deleted images.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, but recovery of files from unallocated space doesn't automatically show the images to the user of the tool. Most tools I've ever used only give you a number of files it was able to recover. It would still be beyond the scope of recovery for the employee to go look at the image(s) they recovered.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          He could have just checked a couple images after recovery, as a spot check, to make sure that the recovery had completed successfully. It could be that just by chance one of the images he checked turned out to be CP.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            no, it was the sole pic there.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The only CP pic, but their could have been other pics. He could have just checked a few files after doing a recovery, and just happened to run across this pic.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:06pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Could is the keyword here. To get the warrant there need to be probable cause based on existing evidence. On top of that, fib hid from judge that it was unallocated space. That made case void under USA vs flyer.

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  • identicon
    Marc W, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:23am

    Stoopit People

    If people are so stupid as to think the NSA/CIA/FBI doesn't already have access to any computer they want almost anytime it's on and connected to the internet thru the documented Windows and Mac Opsystem BACK DOORS --then this story should piss them off.

    DO NOT EVER TRUST THE GOVERNMENT. IF YOU EVEN THINK THEY CAN DO IT --THEY ARE.

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  • identicon
    Anon Cow, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:24am

    So now the geeks have a financial incentive to place child porn on your PC if you take it to them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:09pm

      Re:

      Maybe so, but that could easily be overturned in court by suggesting that it had been planted by the GeekSquad guy. This would put enough doubt in the minds of the jury that they would probably acquit. And then the investigation would turn to the GeekSquad guy, because if in fact he had planted it, then that means he knowingly had it in his possession, which makes him guilty of possession of CP. So the GeekSquad guy would end up serving hard time.

      And the GeekSquad guys know this. That's why they never would do something so STUPID as planting CP on somebody's computer, no matter how greedy they were for that FBI reward money.

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      • icon
        Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:15pm

        Re: Re:

        Not only tgay. Best Buy would be branded as a criminal enterprise and sued.

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        • identicon
          Skeptik, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:50pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If I were the BB CEO I would sure as shit be forbidding my GS techs (or any other employees) from accepting payments from ANY law enforcement agency after this story breaking. You just severely damaged your brand by allowing it in the first place.

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          • identicon
            Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Most employers kind of already have a policy that you can't be working for someone else during the same time that you're on the clock for them. Maybe I missed it, but do we know that Best Buy explicitly allowed this? Why would anyone allow their employees to moonlight during their working hours?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              take it, bb mandates that there is at least one fbi informant on duty at any given time. In this case there were three.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    will, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:34am

    Computer search

    It's not even that the technician is rooting around your system looking at files. They are running a set of "standard" utilities that on the surface are "looking for computer viruses". But the FBI has seeded these programs with the digital signatures of child porn they have already identified. This happens online with Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, Box, Facebook, etc. So anything you store "in the cloud" is getting this treatment as well, to "look for viruses".

    Now this has been weaponized, they can search for anything. In some countries a copy of the US constitution would be considered a prohibited "virus", though it appears the Fed's have found the antidote.

    This is similar to the NSA revelations a few years ago. Some smart person paid to "find a work around" always will. It's this attitude which the judges are responsible for stopping.

    I am not defending child porn, terrorists, or even drug dealers. It's just that these are hot button issues to deploy the techniques and socialize them in the courts, the population, etc.

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    • identicon
      Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:25am

      Re: Computer search

      It's a shame that when you call out the government for shredding the Constitution, you have to tell people you're not defending "child porn, terrorists, or even drug dealers." Americans are supposed to want the Constitution followed, but too many have been conditioned to applaud the abuse of the rules by people with power.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:13am

        Re: Re: Computer search

        first they came for trade unions...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Animedude5555 (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 3:34pm

        Re: Re: Computer search

        Do you really want the constitution to be a shield that evil people like pedophiles can hide behind to avoid prosecution?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: Computer search

          Just in case this is not a Poe...

          From 'A Man for All Seasons', Act 1

          Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!

          More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

          Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

          More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man's laws, not God's — and if you cut them down — and you're just the man to do it — d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

          When you start stripping legal and/or constitutional protections from people because you don't like them, or they are accused of committing terrible crimes, you undermine your own protections under the law at the same time.

          If you want the law to protect the best, then it must protect the worst, or those protections become based upon nothing more than the whim of the judge and/or prosecutor. If a case 'fails', or is dropped because those protections were violated blame the ones who violated them for screwing up and letting the 'guilty' free, not the protections from working as intended.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Totally_Disillusioned, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:38am

    Dangerous Territory...

    FBI contracts computer services and delivery people to "spy" and report on Citizen's activities. In the case of "accidentally stumbling on child pornography" on Rettenmaier's computer yet the Podesta brothers actually have nude adolescent girls displayed in their homes?

    Yet, FBI had Santiago in November, handed him off to psych interview and returned his firearm. Month later he shoots up Ft Lauderdale airport baggage claim area.


    The CIA is politically engaged, the FBI can't seem to catch terrorists yet they can justify Geek Squad/UPS spying on citizens? This is VERY DANGEROUS territory and points to a govt that is off the rails.

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    • icon
      Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:15pm

      Re: Dangerous Territory...

      Big difference between nude art (even if the subject is underage), and child porn. The courts have constantly ruled that nudity without a sexual element (like a lewd pose, or the genitals being the obvious main point of the photo) is not child porn. In fact, you can see nude photographic art of children in the Guggenheim art museum in New York City.
      https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/artist/sally-mann

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:43am

        Re: Re: Dangerous Territory...

        heh man, i have no brief on pizzagate, but those are some SERIOUSLY weird/borderline fucking nutz paintings and sculptures...
        i have a wide latitude for weird shit, but i was a guest in a house with paintings like that, and i would exchange surprised looks with my wife, and head for the door... that is some seriously weird shit for a non-serial killer to have hanging in their homes...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Big Bill, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:43am

    Simple Workaround

    All Best Buy has to do is offer a "free service" as part of their "standard maintenance package" to "help recover lost files" or "do a full hard drive search for viruses". Bingo! Any rooting around in unallocated space is now justified as "standard operating procedure" and not some kind of special snooping for the Feds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:43am

    Worst of the Worst is just an excuse

    As with the Apple terrorist iPhone battle last year, this is not about what it appears to be. It is about something different.

    The FBI wanted Apple to build a universal back door so the FBI could access any phone at any time without supervision. In the name of Terrorism.

    In this instance, the FBI wants to work around the warrant requirement by involving a third party. All in the name of Think Of The Children.

    What they seem to want is a warrantless way to snoop into anyone's computer or smartphone.

    I would suggest that this is what their NIT (network investigative technique) is all about. The NIT is a euphemism for hacking into computers around the globe. Under cover of a local search warrant from an easily fooled judge.

    Imagine this. Use NIT to find someone you want to bust, by hacking their computer. You can't nail them on some other charge. So plant illegal pr0n on their computer. Then make their computer unbootable (but easily fixable) so that they take it in to Best Buy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Not my real name, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:46am

    Perhaps the FBI can step in and catch the Best Buy employees hoarding all the new Classic NES' and selling them on eBay.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Fuk Nigers, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:46am

    Laws

    EXTERMINATE NIGERS---SPICCKS---MUSLUMS and LIBERAL FAGGOT===
    Then HUMANS can PROSPER

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Baron von Robber, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:56am

      Re: Laws

      Drumpf is that you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Hitlary, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re: Laws

        Naw, it's me, the lying traitor lesbian.
        -H.C.-

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Baron von Robber, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Laws

          Naw, it's really me!
          The lying, pussy grabbing, egotistical, myopic, xenophobe.
          -DJDrump!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Laws

          just a reminder, it was Hillary who arranged release of Laura silby and even sent army plane to evacuate her immediately after release.

          Another curious case is that of Daniel galvan vina. Immediately after release, he was hauled off to Ceuta by Spanish gov agents.

          What are the chances of that?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:45am

        Re: Re: Laws

        Random, completely non-political question. What are people referencing when they call Trump, Drumpf? Is it an allusion to "harrumph?" Or is it something completely different, that I'm missing. I understood most of the derogatory Obama misspellings. They usually referenced either his race, or some specific action Obama took that someone disagreed with. I see Drumpf all over the place, but I just don't get it. Could someone let me in on the joke?

        Thanks in advance.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: Laws

          This is the origin. The video is from John Oliver - Last week Tonight and is 3:47 long: link

          It says that Trump used to have the last name Drumpf but he changed it, and since he probably didn't like it, we should start calling him that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Laws

            My mistake... it was an ancestor that changed it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            icon
            Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Laws

            John Oliver. Oh yes the idiot who made an a55 of himself arrogantly challenging Trump to run for Prez then crying like a pu55y on election night.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 4:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Laws

              It's ok, you can curse on the internet. Your mom probably won't ground you if she finds out.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:52am

    Here is what I would like to know, who at the FBI brought the idea forward and approached the folks at Best Buy HQ's and proposed this idea?

    Who at Best Buy HQ thought this would be great that the employees would get $500.00 for the info, so if the employee was getting $500.00 what was Best Buy's cut then? No way they were doing this to be a good citizen and how did they think violating their customers privacy was a-ok to do?

    Several people at Best Buy HQ are responsible for having their staff act as agents for the FBI under teh guise of fixing someone computer issues, but yet it seems onlt the geek squad employees are taking the hit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jack thompson, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:00am

    Bustbuy Geeksquad snooping on customers.

    That's why I encrypt everything in 448 Blowfish just to drive them crazy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SM, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:04am

    Disturbing

    What seems most disturbing? Is it that the FBI has a number of child porn sites which it runs? (I guess it works to catch child pornographers.)

    Or when the article alludes to "suspicious amounts of cash it can swoosh it and seize"?

    They can decide to take property. Beware civil forfeiture. No crime, no judge involved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:24pm

      Re: Disturbing

      FBI doesn't run CP websites. That would be illegal, as it would require possessing actual CP to put on those sites. Instead they are fake sites, who's contents are text or pictures that merely IMPLY that if you click the next link there will be real CP. Of course there's no CP when you click the next link. Instead it logs your IP address, and you get a knock on your door from the authorities. I've read about that tactic before. So no, the FBI is NOT running any actual child porn website.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:29pm

        Re: Re: Disturbing

        That's a lie. The FBI does run kiddie pr0n websites. A simple Google query will educate you.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 4:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: Disturbing

          The kiddie porn sites they run, don't have actual CP images on them. They are fake sites that the FBI uses just to log the IP addresses of pedophiles.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Disturbing

            any good scientific studies of pedophiles minds to recommend?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Disturbing

            So no crime is committed by visiting the fake website then. What is it they're trying to entrap users for, then?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Disturbing

              Breaking into a house is illegal. It's called "burglary".
              Attempting but failing, to break into a house is illegal. It's called "attempted burglary".

              Same thing with child porn.
              Viewing child porn is illegal, as your computer has to download it from the web server to display it on your screen (even if you don't save it to the harddrive). And of course this downloading fits the crime "receiving child pornography".
              If you try to get to a child porn website, but instead end up on an FBI sting-operation fake child porn site, you still attempted to do the above mentioned crime. Therefore the crime you will be charged with in this case is "attempted receiving child pornography".

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:24pm

        Re: Re: Disturbing

        That's not just wrong it's demonstrably wrong, and given it looks like you've been on TD for years according to your comment history you should know better. The whole Playpen debacle was about the FBI not just running the site, not just running it for weeks, but improving the site to make it more 'efficient'.

        The FBI not only did 'run [a] CP website', it improved it and made it run better.

        Unless of course that was a Poe, in which case well done I suppose.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Disturbing

          Follow that WHOLE story, you will see the FBI didn't create it. A pedophile did. The FBI just allowed the site to keep running even after they discovered it, rather than shutting it down. Then they wiretapped the server and got all the IP addresses of the pedos who visited that site.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Disturbing

            "The FBI just allowed the site to keep running" - not just; it says they improved the site. Also, to clarify the point made several posts back, Playpen was hosting actual child porn.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 1:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Disturbing

            So now they have to not only run it but create it for it to count?

            I'm curious, why are you bothering to shift the goalposts on someone else's behalf? They claimed that the 'FBI doesn't run CP websites', I pointed out that that was demonstrably wrong. They didn't just 'discover' the site, they ran it for two weeks, improving the site's performance significantly during that time period, and they didn't 'wiretap' the server they had control of that too.

            The FBI had full control over the site for at least two weeks, didn't shut it down immediately, but did make it run even faster and more 'efficiently' than before during that time. I'd say that's pretty clearly 'run[ing] a CP site'.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Animedude5555 (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 3:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Disturbing

              I checked out your claim, and it seems you were mostly correct. The point is they took control of it from a genuine pedo. However, the rest of your claim is incorrect. It The site was NOT created by the FBI. They simply took control of it. They probably arrested the guy who ran it, but then instead of also taking down his server as they would normally do, they kept his server computer running, and yes, because they had physical access to the computer they could do whatever they wanted to it. As far as I know though, they didn't actually harm and exploit children by uploading additional pictures to the site. They simply made the site itself run more efficiently, so that more pedos could gain easy access to it, and that means the FBI could catch more pedos. The more pedos taken off the street the better.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 8:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Disturbing

                I'm confused, what exactly that I have said are you objecting to?

                I never said that the FBI created the site, I was pointing out that the original claim didn't specify that it did, and as such the claim 'FBI doesn't run CP websites' wasn't true.

                As far as I know though, they didn't actually harm and exploit children by uploading additional pictures to the site.

                The FBI/government's own arguments would say otherwise.

                From the filing by the defense in one of the cases:

                'This behavior is all the more shocking because the federal government itself – in sentencing memoranda, online mission statements, reports to congress, press releases, and arguments before this very Court and many others – has repeatedly emphasized that victims of child pornography are revictimized each and every time their images are viewed online.'

                By drastically improving the site they made it so that many more pictures and videos were shared/downloaded, so by their own previous arguments they caused significant harm to the victims, even if they didn't personally upload a single file.

                They simply made the site itself run more efficiently, so that more pedos could gain easy access to it, and that means the FBI could catch more pedos.

                Beyond the 'ends justify the means' problem, there's also the issue that while they could have possibly 'caught more pedos' it doesn't seem that their keeping the site up for two weeks and improving it resulted in that happening.

                From later in the same filing:

                'Moreover, as noted above, the government has charged less than 1% of Playpen members, the same percentage of users it already had IP addresses for on the day it seized the site. It cannot be that the government may distribute child pornography to a thousand users for each user it catches, particularly when it already has the necessary information to identify the same number of users before it had distributes a single image.'

                They could have shut down the site for 'maintenance' on day one and the result would have been the same as far as how many people were charged.

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    • icon
      Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:56pm

      Re: Disturbing

      Disgusting and true. Why hasn't the FBI been declared a criminal organization? It beats me.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    It Hz when IP, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:06am

    I didn't realize that anyone at Geek Squad knew how to do anything other than a factory restore or tell you that you need to buy a new computer.

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  • identicon
    Vox Veritas, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:14am

    Geek $quad?

    ...or Peek Bod?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tin-Foil-Hat, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:14am

    Always Insert Clean Drive

    You should always put a clean drive into your computer when it is turned over to someone else or traveling. Most computers are an identity thief's treasure trove of personal information. If you lose your computer or it's confiscated your valuable personal information is likely gone forever. Encrypt your computer. The FBI is generally the least of your worries. Even crappy encryption is better than none for the more typical situation of theft by a common criminal.

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    • icon
      Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:31pm

      Re: Always Insert Clean Drive

      The guy wanted his computer fixed. That included the hard drive. If he had changed the hard drive, he wouldn't have needed to go to BB.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:23am

    So that's why.....

    So that's why it takes the Geeks so damn long to fix a person's PC... It takes quite it bit of time to scan every sector on their PC for elicit images.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      me, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:38am

      Re: So that's why.....

      Well just use the democrat argument. Lets be disgusted with the Geek Squad and ignore the child porn.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:29pm

        Re: Re: So that's why.....

        Well just use the stupid argument. Lets be disgusted with people who don't think it is right for people who are supposed to repair your pc do a deep scan.
        Because the ends always justify the means and there is no way a deleted picture with no metadata could ever be falsely placed for money or from a previous owner.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:16pm

        Re: Re: So that's why.....

        Well just use the democrat argument.

        Or they could use the republican argument and refuse to do their jobs.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:27pm

      Re: So that's why.....

      Based on this article, it sounds more like the Geek Squad rummages around your folders, not like they do a deep scan of your hard drive.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        afn29129 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:20pm

        Re: Re: So that's why.....

        AC asserts: "the Geek Squad rummages around your folders, not like they do a deep scan of your hard drive."


        from the article: "In addition to these problems, the file discovered by the Best Buy tech was in unallocated space..."

        Actually the Geeks HAD to do a deep scan to find the image in 'an-allocated space'. The image had been deleted, indexs removed from the FAT, but the data was still extant on the HDD.

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  • identicon
    Yes, I know I'm commenting anonymously, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:28am

    Soon..

    The logical net step is for the FBI to pay for `anonymous' tips. (and as a bonus, anonymous tips are easier to obfuscate.)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:31am

    The Mafia has known this for decades

    "Unsurprisingly, the FBI also has a number of paid informants. Some of these informants apparently work at Best Buy -- Geek Squad by day, government informants by… well, also by day."

    In the 1950's, the Mafia wives constantly complained that they weren't allowed to get their refrigerators and washing machines fixed, because the FBI had paid off all of these repairmen (yes, they were all MEN back then) to spy on them when they came for repairs.

    The Mafia was so suspicious, they wouldn't even *throw these old machines away*, in case some evidence remained within their innards.

    So, you could tell a Mafia house by how many dead household appliances they had stacked up in their garages/back yards.

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  • identicon
    Me, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:37am

    Best buy Geek Squad

    Well just use the democrat argument. Lets be disgusted with the Geek Squad and ignore the child porn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    lindou chang, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:47am

    Blah -

    I used to have a computer shop, there wasn't one computer, one at all, that didn't have some type of porn on it..I don't care if it was the local preacher, mayor, chief of police, etc...all had porn of some type on their computers. First thing we did after getting them fixed was to do a "search" for "malicious" files...lol...then gather around and see who had the best stuff. of course for record keeping purposes, we'd make a copy for our records..especially if it was someone's wife!

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  • identicon
    Dave, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:49am

    A little fascism here

    A little fascism here! A little fascism there!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Campbll, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:56am

    How low will some go?

    This part is not only disgusting, it's downright scary. Political operatives with no scruples, such as the likes of the DNC's own Creamer and Foval, could get away with planting a malware hidden hidden image of such filth on an opposition's computer. It could destroy the reputation of an innocent person. Having witnessed what the DNC is already capable of it would seem that nothing should be put passed them.

    "In other words, it's arguable a computer's owner wouldn't know of its existence. (For example, malware can secretly implant files.)"

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    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:59am

      Re: How low will some go?

      Special snowflakes still have a hard on for Killary.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:17pm

      Re: How low will some go?

      It's scary that despite Trump winning, you tards are still talking about Hillary.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Harleyxx, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:06am

    Geek Squad

    They can just as easily pay these geeks to put child porn on someones computer for blackmail or for future arrest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Hyon Kim, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:39am

    Don't be suprised

    You are living in the Obamanation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mendskyz, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:40am

    Geek Squad

    How stupid can our FBI be? The Geek Squad? That might be a good choice if they are looking for someone to tell you you need to reload windows, or are looking to find some reason to tell you you need a new computer, but not very likely to be able to pull this one off. How well do you think any evidence that is found on a computer will withstand a good defense lawyer? How much time do you think the FBI will spend chasing rabbits down endless rabbit holes? This will fail on 4th Amendment Rights before the first case hits the docket.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:02pm

      Re: Geek Squad

      No, it's not stupid. I'ts pretty smart actually. By pulling off this crap, the FBI is washing it hands of any liability. They can say "we didn't do it" and blame it on Best Buy. At least they won't be blaming YouTube or the Russians like Obama, Hillary and their thugs.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:45am

    In defense of minor attracted people

    Police searches for cp are nothing more than a new age witch hunt to justify gov. intrusion into peoples lives. It's not at all unlike how gay people were persecuted in the past.

    Morality is just an abstract concept, a social construct created by parochial minded religious people that are trying to make you submit to their antiquated group think. They often craft shaming language toward you, accusing you of having a “ high hope for a low heaven”. Evil and morality are Points of view. Picture a cat playing with a mouse. To the cat, he is just playing with his food. To the mouse, the cat is the equivalent of evil it's self.

    Pedophilia in relation to human nature, and how it evolved through evolution is discussed briefly. Life is a question, asked of the Universe, "Is this right?"...and answered by death if it isn't. This is the realist's perspective who lives by natural law. People lived short brutish lives in out ancient history, often dying around age 30. There was no supportive social services in those ancient times and young girls who lost their families either died or grew up quick. The ones that were attracted to older men survived and eventually reproduced. That is why you have women who like older men, and men who like young girls. It's and adaptive strategy that worked in the past; simple as that. We are still running on 20,000 year old software, and no stupid, recently created, feel good, socially constructed laws are going to change that. You can bet there are at least, if not more, minor attracted men out there than there are gay men. Why persecute them for the way nature made them if they are not hurting anyone? No wonder the birth rate in western civilization is declining. No one wants to marry a menopausal women that is hitting the wall.

    Being attracted to youth doesn't make one a monster, it's the way nature made us. What does make a monster is destroying the lives of innocent men who did nothing more than follow their human nature. Not only does it destroy the lives of men when they are taken to prison but destroys the lives of the families, and pets, that depend on them. Think of all the poor animals that get hauled off to the animal shelters,and get killed, because their owners get put in prison for stupid non-violent crimes; feeding the prison industry. If I was a cop, I would have trouble sleeping at night for thinking about all the lives I destroyed. Shame on me, I say shame on you!

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    • identicon
      Tenth Degree, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:59am

      Re: In defense of minor attracted people

      The problem is "pre-puberty" females...those that have reached puberty and are able to reproduce does make evolutionary sense, most if not all animals in the wild reproduce as soon as they are capable. somewhere down the line, someone decided that there was a "underage" for sex. it was not unheard of that women were married at 13, had kids all throughout their teen years. The one's who haven't reached puberty, there is something wrong there, there isn't a biological reason for that attraction, it's a mental problem and people who deal in that should go to prison for life if not outright killed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:34pm

        Re: Re: In defense of minor attracted people

        While I do agree that these "people" are despicable, these methods will only turn into a witch hunt where the people who are not well liked or just unlucky tend to get burned at the stake.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Uncommon Sense, 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:54pm

        Re: Re: In defense of minor attracted people

        See, the problem is no one can force others to find something attractive. We've all seen newborn pictures totally nude to be cute. As a photographer I stay away from that even. But someone who searches for borderline images aren't breaking the law. To search for it may be someone hoping to find something wrong, BUT punishing the search prevents good citizens from being safe to try to police the web when they get the chance and search as well for things to report.

        There's girls of all ages in Jock Sturgess, David Hamilton's and Sally Mann's books you can buy in Boarders, or any other art / book store.

        Totally nude.

        We protect the "Art" and the problem is people are going to jail because there's LEGAL art that is being considered porn.

        There's people who have been jailed because of LEGAL images that were considered underage because no one could confirm the age of the girls and people assumed that the endocrinology must make a girl who is 18 years old have significant stage 5 breasts.

        This is on the Tanner Scale and even the creator of the Tanner Scale said it shouldn't be used for prosecution.

        There was a case where "Little Lulu" was a porn out of a US State, a man was found traveling through an airport checkpoint and they found it. They were prosecuting him. They didn't care if the girl was of legal age. His attorney successfully got in touch with the model from the video who came and testified in court that she was actually of legal age.

        Do you see the point? If there's no way to vouch for the age of the girl people are going to jail under "better safe than sorry"

        We need:
        Better policing of the internet. First and foremost. Less desire to punish people who may enjoy forbidden fruit fantasies.

        Gary Gross photographed 10 year old Brooke Shields (yes the famous one) nude and those images were published in Playboy.

        She went on to be nude in a George Burns film climbing out of the trunk of his car, as well as Blue Lagoon totally nude by the time she was 15.

        Those movies are and always were legal. There were also modeling sites like Met-Art that went 18 up voluntarily but they were always showing nude underage girls because it was a protected "art."

        NOT DEFENDING just pointing out we have a huge overlap in laws and understanding that leads to people going to jail for something that might not even be a crime.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2017 @ 4:16am

        Re: Re: In defense of minor attracted people

        This is my second and last post I'm making about the subject, hopefully the mods will have the integrity to let it through. Yes, there is a perfectly obvious biological, and evaluational, reason for it, and it isn't a mental illness.

        As I stated previously, You had a good chance of dieing before 30 years old in the past. People had to reproduce early, the species literately depended on it, as you had a good chance of dieing before or just about the time your child was hitting puberty. Beta males taking care of girls around the age of puberty was a reproductive strategy that eventually allowed them to eventually reproduce, and the girls to survive without parents.

        Unfortunately, as always, religious prudes are standing in the way of sound reason but try to get your head around the idea, it's a sound theory. It very well might have made the difference between the human race surviving, and not to acknowledge this possibility is just being unreasonable.

        Throwing men in jail for having an interest in girls around the age of puberty is just predatory policing for money, just like with drugs. I would say the age of consent of 12, like in Mexico, is about right for a legal cut off. So, every one, stop being uptight prudes, know that everyone is different, and just because you don't like something doesn't mean that it's isn't or wasn't at some point a good thing. Men taking in young girls was natures answer to a social safety net.

        I would like to thank Drudge report for linking to this article, and the mods at Techdirt for letting me speak freely on this controversial topic.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Animedude5555 (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 3:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: In defense of minor attracted people

          I agree starting at puberty (sexual maturity) there is a legit reason for sexual intercourse. However, it is perverse and unnatural to have sex with prepubescent individual. There is no logical reason for it. It doesn't result in procreation. Therefore it doesn't aid in helping the species to survive.

          And that is what makes a person a pedophile. They desire sex with individuals who have not yet reached sexual maturity. Anybody who acts on those sick and unnatural sexual urges deserves prison time.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Skeptik, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:06pm

      Re: In defense of minor attracted people

      You used a whole lot of words and pseudo-sophistry to justify pedophilia. "Nature" doesn't drive species to engage in sexual activity until the creature achieves sexual maturity. Sexually mature humans who engage in preying on sexually immature humans are un-natural perverts. Period.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:30pm

        Re: Re: In defense of minor attracted people

        13yo and 14yo individuals are usually sexually mature (able to reproduce). They just are not emotionally/mentally mature yet. Under current law, those who are not emotionally mature are automatically assumed to have been taken advantage of (without any other possibility even being considered by the law) when having sexual relations with a person who is mentally/emotionally more mature. However, in nature, animals don't wait until they are mentally/emotionally mature to have sex. They just wait until they are sexually mature, and then they start having sex all the time. And technically, humans are just advanced animals. The law that bans this is one of oppressing nature, in favor of imposing a human-invented order of things, instead of the natural order of things. I don't regard a sexually mature teen as a child, even if the law does. Of course I don't have sex with them because that would be illegal, but it wouldn't make me a pedophile.

        A pedophile is by definition, a person who is sexually attracted to an individual who is not sexually mature. Being a pedophile or not, has nothing to do with mental/emotional maturity, or what the law says is right or wrong. Being a pedophile is an unnatural sexual attraction to those who aren't sexually mature (able to reproduce).

        And yes, pedophiles are sick filthy scum. And they deserve the full force of the law (even taking unconstitutional steps, such as the steps this article says the FBI has taken) to apprehend them. However, a pedophile is not a person who's attracted to a 13 or 14 year old individual, even if acting on that attraction is illegal under US law.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:56pm

        Re: Re: In defense of minor attracted people

        Allow me to pop a jaunty little bonnet on your pseudo-sophistry, Mr. Pot Calling Kettle. I was getting raging boners and lusting after women way before my young, supple body was venting jizz. So where the hell does that fit into your closeted black and white world of unnatural preverts?

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  • identicon
    Robert.Walter, 9 Jan 2017 @ 10:48am

    The ends do not justify the means.

    The 4th Amdt is there for a reason and it's not really that hard to follow the procedural rules for getting a warrant.

    Agents and AUSA's who lie to judges deserve termination, prosecution and incarceration.

    Fruit of the poison tree must be discarded.

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  • identicon
    Uncommon Sense, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:10am

    Pay and when are pre-pubescent images legal.


    Pay creates the incentive for people to PLANT eidences that are illegal.

    Brooke Shields modeled for Gary Gross when she was 10 years old Fully Nude. By the time she was 13 those were in Playboy. The supreme court of New York has upheld that those images were NOT PORN due to what a definition of porn must be.

    The DOST TEST is the 6 point definition of porn. This was set in place so that people who happen to snap innocent photos of their family / kids being silly in the tub or at a clothing optional beach weren't headed for prison.

    There are people going to jail today who have no idea that the images they had on their computer weren't even porn.

    This is all defined in the 18 U.S.C 2257 and 2257(a)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:00pm

      Re:

      If (as you said) the people in question had no idea that it wasn't porn, then that means they thought it was porn. And if the images they thought were porn were of children then that means they knowingly and intentionally were in possession of images that they believed were CHILD porn. In other words, they intentionally were performing actions that they believed were illegal, and only by chance did those actions happen to not be illegal. These people you are defending clearly had the INTENT to commit a crime, and attempted to commit a crime, believing fully that their actions were illegal.

      Even if the pictures that these people had were technically not CP, it does not make these people's ACTIONS any less criminal.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Uncommon Sense, 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:31pm

        Re: Re:

        Not exactly, YES there's illegal things they can find, BUT if they were searching for ART that's not illegal.

        Sally Mann, David Hamilton and Jock Sturgess have all been producing books their entire photographic lives showing underage girls nude.

        In fact you can buy those books right now at Boarders or other places. They're protected by the supreme court. So your point is about "intent"

        This also must be compared with the Dost test's 6 points to determine if something is porn. Keep in mind yes people can be sexually attracted to anything regardless of human or animal.

        Let me validate your point. YES there's people who want something illegal. You're absolutely right. BUT the point is strictly for people who weren't breaking any laws.

        A girl nude with just a collar may be a photo taken by her parents at a nudist camp if they're just doing something silly. SURE some jackass doesn't have really any real excuse why to have possession of it, but it.

        Huffington Post showed nude images last year of a children in an article about the wonders of fatherhood. And all his pictures were of his kids nude playing in the yard. black and white images, BUT the supreme court doesn't differentiate between color vs. black and white.

        You're 100% correct on the aspect that if they were searching for something illegal their INTENT was to have something that violates the 18 USC 2257 and 2257a

        BUT due to the fact there's also no legal defined term for art modeling of all ages that people will search for that term. so this creates the impression they're seeking to do something of criminal action.

        HOW DO YOU KNOW... if there's dozens of images that cross the line between art and CRIME.

        So yes you're right, we can tell. However it's also not the courts responsibility to determine what's legal in your case. YOU need to be armed with this information.

        Did you know MetArt website went 18 up voluntarily and before that they were legally producing underage girls nude?

        The problem with most legal issues is that so few people really study the depths of the laws (I'm a legal bookworm)

        In the 90% there was many model sites of girls of all ages modeling in lingerie and even sheer stuff. Cali Sky was 14 when she was modeling nude, but not showing genitals, just paint on her nipples. She had her own website at 16 and is still doing tease modeling.

        Jimmy Stephens was a producer of many models websites and images and denver police tried to charge him with CP production with 8000 years jailtime.

        He proved that none of the images were porn because porn requires either focus on sexual areas (Meaning an innocent picture that's cropped may turn into porn once cropped)
        or sexual penetration or images created strictly for sexual enticement of the viewer.

        CREEPY FACTOR. yes people were paying members of those sites. They had to claim they were a modeling agent or photographer. See where the line turns gray.

        I thought of doing a documentary on this, so I did a shit ton of research.

        So Jimmy Stephens (James grady is his real name) was found completely innocent when he proved girls post images just like what he posted by themselves and facebook charges advertisers, so for pay is for pay. He proved that the supreme court decisions upheld what was art.

        He also proved that Calvin Klein showed Brooke Shields covering her tits nude. So advertisers are always using the limits.

        Thora Burch was topless in a American Beauty. She was 16.
        Hollywood has had many underage girls in films. Brooke Sheilds in Blue Lagoon at 15 nude, she was in a George Burns film nude getting out of the trunk of his car at 14.

        You're right about the intent. As we know from criminal law the SPECIFIC INTENT (mens rhea) is the determining factor if something was a crime. Criminal Intent.

        This is often found in the questioning. What were you looking for.

        ALSO a unique story... Did you read my comment about Little Lulu? A man was charged with CP for a DVD of an adult model. The prosecution didn't even care to research it.

        Another unique story police were performing a sting operation on a man's router. However someone was contacting them THROUGH his router. So he downloaded hundreds of CP images (yes they'll actually provide them, imagine how screwed up that is)

        And therefore the police gave out a bunch of images that shouldn't be out there but only found out when they tried to arrest the homeowner.

        Prosecute the criminal, but let's not criminalize those who didn't show intent for criminal activity with stuff that doesn't rise to the level of a crime.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 4:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maybe so, but in your comment I was replying to, it stipulated that the person you were talking about had images they believed to be illegal, even though they weren't illegal images. The conduct of the person you are describing is clearly criminal conduct, because they intentionally came into possession of something that they believed was illegal, and just by chance the material wasn't illegal. That's an "attempt" crime, like "attempted murder". The person clearly was trying to violate the law, and would violated the law if they had the chance, but just by accident they failed to commit the crime. Thus they actually ARE guilty under the "criminal attempt" laws.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Thus they actually ARE guilty under the "criminal attempt" laws."

            Meh, I thought only a judge or jury could determine guilt after due process which includes providing valid and legal evidence. Thank God we have you to make that call.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm not saying I know all the facts of the case. I'm just speculating on how I think the case would most likely go, based on the facts that I do know. Of course a jury will have the final say of guilt or innocence.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Given the ongoing discussion, I may have misread it, but I was thinking he meant a situation where someone has a picture of, say, their kid in the bathtub, and are arrested and told by the cops, "that's child pornography!" Instead of questioning the "expert's" definition of child porn, they assume that they are in the wrong and take a plea.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The guy with the little lulu dvd, did he get convicted or acquitted?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2017 @ 4:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sex sells. But that is not why hollywood does it. OK

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Oliver Clozoff, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:20am

    Geek Squad snoopers

    This is one reason why you should NEVER save data of any kind to your C: drive. Documents, media, and emails should be saved to a separate PHYSICAL drive that you can remove if you ever need to take your PC in for service. Another reason is that if you get a virus or ransomeware, you can just reformat C: and reinstall your software.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sardondi, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:24am

    Background Checks?

    Heh. If the FBI is using Best Buy employees to do their computer sleuthing, the background check (which anyone working under the FBI aegis ordinarily must undergo, and a rigorous and deep check at that) can't be more than "What's your name?". A disaster in the making.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Jeff L, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:24am

    11 days and this will end under Trump

    The Donald will end this intrusion. Read the book about him (released 1-7-2017):
    "KEK: The Rise of Donald Trump" (released 1-7-2017)
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZ7QSIE

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Escondido, 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:31am

    dd

    So, is this unallocated space what fills up if you install media with, for example, Puppy Linux, and use dd to fill unallocated hard disk space?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:31pm

      Re: dd

      Chances are it was the best Buy guy who placed the "pr0n" image there.

      It's funny that nobody has raised the following problem with his BS story:

      Anyone who has ever downloaded an mp3, movie or legal pr0n has never downloaded just one file. All the contrary, most users downloads tons of it.

      The guy being trapped by the FBI here would be the first kiddie pr0n addict who ever downloaded only one file to satisfy his impulses, LOL.

      This is Gruber stuff for the crowd who truly believe a YouTube video caused a terrorist attack.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:37am

    Actually this is legal.

    I guess you never have heard of a reward before. Those Best Buy employees are not actual FBI employees. They were informed of a reward by the FBI. Any intentional digging around computers they did, wasn't ordered by the FBI, but rather was just the individuals trying to cash in on the reward offered by the FBI. Intentionally seeking out a criminal or information on a criminal, so as to be able to claim a reward, is called being a bounty hunter. It is 100% legal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:20pm

      Re: Actually this is legal.

      No, it's not. The FBI lied to the judge.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re: Actually this is legal.

        > No, it's not. The FBI lied to the judge.

        That's apparently legal too, for FBI agents.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: Actually this is legal.

          Since when is it to legal to commit perjury?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:13pm

            On the books vs In practice

            A) A law not enforced might as well not exist.

            B) Good luck finding someone that will be able and willing to prosecute an FBI agent(or even just a cop) for lying to a judge.

            Therefore: For all intents and purposes, it is 'legal' for an FBI agent to lie to a judge.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:26pm

              Re: On the books vs In practice

              B) I'm sure Jeff Sessions will soon have a say on that.

              Not for the purposes of preserving law and order, it's not legal to lie to a judge. It's been allowed to happen. That doesn't make it legal.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:17pm

                Re: Re: On the books vs In practice

                Well, there's the written law, and then there's the real law.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 5:54am

                Re: Re: On the books vs In practice

                To that note, have you ever read law books, particularly case law books? I consider myself fairly capable of retaining information, but I'd have a hard time sitting through case after case and not letting something slip by.

                I wish I could find online examples of what I'm talking about. In the same volume, covering the same subjects, I've read court case results that directly contradict not only each other but also the law they were predicated upon.

                I guess that's the reason for the Court of Appeals but even so, if a lawyer determines that a particular case law result favors his/her client, that's what they're going to run with. And if the judge decides that it's valid, guess it sticks.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:00pm

              Re: On the books vs In practice

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:49am

                Re: Re: On the books vs In practice

                Bring this story back here when someone working for the government actually suffers consequence for the misconduct that's alleged here. No one is saying the government never misbehaves; they're saying that no one is held accountable. So far, this story supports that position.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Actually this is legal.

            since James clapper testimony?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:40pm

        Re: Re: Actually this is legal.

        What the Geek Squad guys did, was certainly legal. Seeking out info on a crime so as to be able to claim reward money offered by law enforcement. And there is no 4th amendment clause preventing non-law-enforcement people from digging through somebody's computer files, even if ultimately they do turn over what they find to law-enforcement, and as long as they aren't actually hired on as law-enforcement officers (which would terminate their status of being non-law-enforcement). Digging through somebody's computer, in an attempt to claim REWARD MONEY does NOT terminate your status of being non-law-enforcement, as claiming reward money offered by law-enforcement is NOT the same as being a hired employee of law-enforcement.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: Actually this is legal.

          Yeah, and FBI agents aren't really employees either. They just do it for the monthly reward.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Actually this is legal.

            Big difference between FBI agents (hired employees) and some guy who sees a wanted poster, so they personally set out to find the bad guy, and notify the FBI when they find him. Claiming your reward money, is different than being a hired employee. This is just the digital version of a bounty hunter. It's 100% legal.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              TripMN, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actually this is legal.

              Yes, but a wanted poster is put up because there is a warrant out for their arrest, not because someone said we'll give you $100 for every crook you bust and bring the ill-gotten evidence to us. That is vigilante-ism, not being a bounty hunter, and the evidence should be considered suspect and tainted the second it is turned over.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actually this is legal.

              There's also a problem in that the "bounty hunters" are on the clock for someone else. I know actual bounty hunters, and they don't go looking for fugitives while they're on the clock for the local McDonald's. If you're working for Best Buy and they're paying you by the hour to fix computers and you spend ten minutes of every hour looking for porn, then you're not only invading peoples' privacy, you're also ripping off your employer.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Jovet, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:53pm

          Re: Actually this is legal.

          If you're on the government dole, then you're a government employee, and without probable cause it's a violation of Amendment 4. Period.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ChrisR (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 11:40am

    Did tech put it there?

    And since the tech had access to the computer, who's to say he didn't put it there?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:18pm

      Re: Did tech put it there?

      Who cares? He got his $500 and the snowflakes supporting this FBI travesty got themselves another false narrative.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 4:18pm

        Re: Re: Did tech put it there?

        What part of the narrative is false?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Did tech put it there?

          The narrative that it's somehow ok to arrest somebody simply because the FBI got a "tip" from a Best Buy employee who was paid by the FBI to conduct surveillance. After all, it's all for the children. Never mind they're violating civil rights and the Constitution in the process.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Texan Deplorable, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:14pm

    Best Buy terms of service

    Best Buy tells you that when a computer is turned in for service -- your data is safe. If this guy is getting paid, he is certainly searching ALL OF THE COMPUTERS he comes in contact with. Just remember that when you use services of Best Buy. And certainly he's not the ONLY ONE.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:16pm

    "The Russians did it" stuff

    Anybody who falls for this Stasi crap needs to read the Constitution and get a course on ethics.

    If an unknown individual is getting paid for snooping in computers, digging for dirt that can be turned into cash, chances are he will be encouraged on plant it there.

    The FBI lied to a judge on purpose in order to secure a search warrant. That in itself is grounds for dismissal of the case and for the FBI lawyer to lose his/her license.

    What's a GS staffer doing looking for dirt in unallocated space in the first place? GS should have fired the informant because now that the case is falling part, the guy who took the computer there can sue them for defamation, violation of privacy and civil rights, and being accessory to a felony. And I'm sure he will.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:49pm

      Re: "The Russians did it" stuff

      A lot of people here today defending child pornographers. DISGUSTING!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:55am

        Re: Re: "The Russians did it" stuff

        Yeah, you're right! Who needs this whole due process and rule of law stuff? If anybody so much as looks like a child pornographer, let's just burn them at the stake!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:05pm

      Re: "The Russians did it" stuff

      Yeah that's it. I'm defending kiddie pr0n, not my civil rights, Gruber.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:08pm

        Re: Re: "The Russians did it" stuff

        "Yeah that's it. I'm defending kiddie pr0n, not my civil rights, Gruber."

        If you've done nothing wrong, you don't need civil rights.
        - police union

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:18pm

    How long til the RIAA, MPAA and their ilk latch onto this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    HaveWeForgotten, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:22pm

    Welcome to Germany in the 30's

    I don't understand how people are so willing to give up our rights. Freedom of speech is gone, Freedom to practice religion (government searching of sermons, church roles), the FBI using our kids in public schools to rat out their parents if they say anything against the government, freedom of undue search and seizure. Don't forget the NSA, cell phone tower copying, etc

    This is not a Vast Left/right wing false news story. It's happening every day, and We the People are letting it happen

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:24pm

    FBI finally makes it to the bottom of a stack of complaints about Geek Squad employees lifting personal information & pictures from machines they repair. Rather than prosecute the smart agent looks for a way to make this benefit his case win ratio by paying the Geeks to look for CP while they shift the drives looking for nudes of the hot owners.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kage, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:27pm

    4th Amendment Violation?

    Is content that GS finds even admissible in a court of law as valid evidence? You would need to take a forensic analyst approach to preserve the chain of custody. If this is the case, why is GS even digging around looking through computers without legal authority or a warrant?

    The other consideration here is that GS could install malware or a rootkit on the machine without the user knowing. We already know that they are being rewarded by the FBI for finding law breakers, so the incentive is there. From a consumer perspective, if these GS employees are FBI informants, there is a breach of trust and we have no reason to believe that they are placing the needs of the consumers first. Is it far fetched to believe that GS would install malware? Is there anything that proves that they wouldn't?

    On a side note, I'm a IT professional and this just confirms what I've preached to everyone I know. Never take your computer to Best Buy. At the very best, you'll receive your machine back fully wiped. When computers become infected with viruses, GS will handle virus removal by resetting to factory settings and destroying all of your data. A virus doesn't mean you have to wipe your machine if you know what you're doing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:48pm

      Re: 4th Amendment Violation?

      It's probably enough for the police to get a valid search warrant, and then they can do a properly documented search, which WOULD be admissible in court.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 12:41pm

    So create a fake bunch of "illegal data" pertaining to drugs or something....to give the FBI something to do....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:23pm

      Re:

      By the same token, who's to say it's FBI agents themselves working at Best Buy pretending to be informants. Remember: these are the same g00ns who engaged in illegal weapon trafficking just so they could write an anti-gun narrative (Fast and Furious).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:11pm

    This is BS

    A true pedophile would have more than just one kiddie pr0n picture on a computer. This case stinks from the get-go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    rollory, 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:13pm

    best buy

    I took my Win7 computer in to Best Buy to have a fan cleaned. When I got it back they
    1) had not touched the fan
    2) had uninstalled several applications I use
    3) had installed several other applications I did not recognize
    4) had set up Windows Update to automatically download and install Windows 10 after the next reboot.

    As far as I'm concerned this was criminal vandalism. The only reason I didn't talk to a lawyer about it is that due to the repair service I was requesting coming under a free-maintenance clause of a friend's previous purchase I didn't need to actually pay them.

    But you can bet I'm not ever paying them for anything else, either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Garys opinion, 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:26pm

    computers

    There was a time, not long ago, when photographs had to be developed by a developer. If there was a picture in the film that they found objectionable they wouldn't print it. Digital cameras did away with that and you could download any picture you wanted onto your computer.
    You still have to be careful though, you won't have a developer censoring your pictures, but you may have the FBI doing it.
    With technology the way it is today, I can't imagine anybody being so stupid to put anything on a computer that could harm them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adam, 9 Jan 2017 @ 1:38pm

    Chain of Custody?

    I'm sorry but I was always under the impress that if you take an item to be repaired by someone then they turn it over for alleged illegal activity, such items found would be hard to held into evidence because of chain of custody issues. Does this no longer apply?

    I though that such said discovered items could put you on the police's radar but using such discovered items in court would be unlikely to be admissible since the computer has been out of your control and god knows who could have put them on the computer (The tech working on it, someone else in the shop.) And if the tech also has a $500 incentive by the FBI does it become at some point advantageous to plant something on an unsuspecting computer to keep the payouts coming.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:15am

      Re: Chain of Custody?

      Would be interesting to see if there's similar cases involving drugs found in a car. For example, if you turned your vehicle over to the shop and the shop planted drugs for the police, would the chain of custody argument be valid?

      I know when I turn my vehicle over for repair I implicitly trust the shop to not plant drugs in my car for the police to find later.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David Sonner, 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:02pm

    old news?

    I heard or read about this type of stuff years ago.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:02pm

    I'm glad I switched to Linux

    Using Linux has empowered me with the knowledge most Windows/Mac users will never get.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Another Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:22pm

    Geek Squad

    I number of years I turned my computer over to the Geek Squard for some needed repairs. From that experience, it is my opinion that we do not have anything to worry about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    suzy000, 9 Jan 2017 @ 2:53pm

    Who's Gonna Pay?

    Who is gonna pay this man's legal defense? Trump needs to revamp the way government uses their endless resources in attacking an innocent citizen. Whenever this happens, I hope Trump initiates TORT reform so the Government will be responsible for a person's legal expenses as it will aid a poor man to fight back...not just the rich. Plus....an agent or his/her team may think twice in bringing frivolous indictments when it gets tacked on to their own personal record. A few too many of these and the Government will dismiss an agent costing them a small mint!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    len, 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:05pm

    Regard your computer/ phone as being the same as your vaultbox at the bank.
    Only you have the key to the box.

    I am in my late sixties , this not a function of age , it is one of ignorance.

    Never trust the government or big business . They are there to take your money.
    Learn and learn more about the machines you use or they will use you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:10pm

    Best Buy = Amazon's Showroom

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dsk, 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:20pm

    Worst Ad

    That's the worst thing you can post about Best buy.

    You can't trust them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Justin Case, 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:28pm

    Surprise

    I have worked for several mom and pop computer shops and everytime we come across true blue child p0rn the owners and managers demand that we delete it and not discuss it. I personally have told them that they can call the cops or I would do it. Mom and pop shops do not want any part of this because they worry about the business and could care less about the kids who are the victims. I was floored when one owner told me that the kids were already violated and that reporting it would not help the kids but could harm the business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:38pm

      Re: Surprise

      If you read the article, you'll see the GS squad didn't just "come across" the pr0n stuff (if indeed it is that) but actually looked for the entire contents of all partitions. The guy effectively scanned every segment of all partitions "looking" for his $500. When he didn't find it, he planted it there.

      The accused in this article would be the first pedophile in history who's ever downloaded one single kiddie pr0n file. This is all a sham.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nameless, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:02pm

    Three Words...

    External hard drive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Animedude5555 (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:26pm

      Re: Three Words...

      Why are you trying to give advice to pedophiles for how to better hide their child porn? They may already know the technique you described, but why try to aid those who don't know by telling them? Are you a pedophile, or a pedo sympathizer?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:51pm

        Re: Re: Three Words...

        Who said he was giving advice to pedos, maybe he was giving advice to people who illegally download regular movies and doesn't want to get caught doing that. If a pedophile is able to use that same information, then thats not on him.

        For instance, he could say that it would be even better to download your torrents to a folder directly on a mini sd card with encryption, while making sure that file never touches the hard drive. He could then recommended that everyone use a linux operating system, and use a program called bleachbit to wipe all the cached files clean and free disk space. Make sure to also run it with root privileges, then run a program call photorec to make sure all the media files are off the hard drive so you don't wind up like that poor bastard who took his computer to get repaired. Also, if someone does come to your door looking for "downloaded movie torrents" tell them that you do not consent to a search when they ask to come in. If they say they have a warrant, then say "can we come in" again, they are probably lying because they would have just come in without asking again. Make sure to look at that warrant, police can lie to you. Don't be scared to ask for the warrant, you have rights, don't let them intimidate you.

        See Animedude5555, I only helped movie pirates, :-)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        nameless, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:14pm

        Re: Re: Three Words...

        FBI raids residence. Confiscates other devices including external drive. No illicit materials found on anything other than the computer tinkered with by the G-Nerds. If you were on a jury where would you think the guy would put the stuff if he actually was guilty? If you are going to make the mistake of trusting your device to total strangers at least be wise enough to back up the OS (to an external drive) and reformat (erase) the internal drive then document the time and date the aforementioned Poindexters take possession of the most personal piece of technology you own. How many words was that?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:18pm

        Re: Re: Three Words...

        Are you an imbecile? Oh yes, you are.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jovet, 9 Jan 2017 @ 5:48pm

    Hold the phone

    Despite the "good intentions," and the obvious benefit to society by the outcome of this particular incident, it is still an illegal circumvention of the Fourth Amendment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dr evil, 9 Jan 2017 @ 6:18pm

    hey Geek Squad

    I contend that the Squad placed files on my machine to stay in good with FBI and hide employees surfing habits and and and .. can the judge please see the uninterrupted video logs (both software video and keystroke recording) and over the shoulder or body cam video the Squad member must have been making at the time of discovery? yeah, didnt think ao

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:11pm

      Re: hey Geek Squad

      brilliant! Bb actually stores and shares with gov all cctv videos, so this evidence is subject to discovery.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Sugar Daddy (profile), 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:15pm

        Re: Re: hey Geek Squad

        I seriously Best Buy recorded several hours worth of boring computer activity that were required to retrieve a single image from a unallocated space.

        This case is already dead in a court of law. Best Buy just lost millions of customers.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Robert Goldstein, 9 Jan 2017 @ 7:11pm

    The crooks at the FBI need to be prosecuted. They break the law and nothing happens to them so they keep doing it. In fact, FBI employees need to be held to a higher standard than the average civilian citizen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Gaskell, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:22pm

    Best Buy is Worst Buy

    BB Managers wear a badge and walk around the store like they are tin Gods. When asked why they wear such equipment they will tell you it's because the owner demands it. The prices suck and the Geek Squad is a joke. FBI must have become mesmerized by badge on managers belt. Part of the swamp drain coming soon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Maria Sanchez, 9 Jan 2017 @ 8:48pm

    So much for the Geek Squad

    Well, this is pretty much the death knell for the geek squad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rex Holm, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:02pm

    Cyber security

    There was a chief of cyber sec 2009-2012 and he was replaced by the current cyber chief. Haven't heard word one from these folds and what they've done to keep us safe for eight years. Why? Where are they?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anglosaxonknight, 9 Jan 2017 @ 9:14pm

    Time for FBI agents to get time

    The blantant violation of a suspects Constitutional Rights requires that these Bad agents get time in Prison. Considering that most judges give the benefit of the doubt to the FBI. The person on Trial is facing years in prison. And if an unscrupulous FBI agent thinks that they can violate the defendants Constitutional rights to win their case. They themselves should be subject to the same years in prison the defendant was facing. This would bring back honesty to Federal or State for that matter if any police officer that blantantly violates a defendants Constitutional rights they themselves will be serving TIME!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bill Everman, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:29am

    This reminds me of when the DEA was paying a guy who worked for a trucking company as an informant, unbeknownst to the employer, and refused to pay for the damage to the truck when it was destroyed in a gunfight: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150428/16401530826/who-pays-when-dea-destroys-your-vehicle-kills -your-employee-during-botched-sting-hint-not-dea.shtml .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alan, 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:48am

    And what is criminal activities exactly are? protecting our private info? or to hide our IP from Surveillance? or is it a criminal case If i am connected to my PureVPN account to avoid tracking?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    geeksquadron, 10 Jan 2017 @ 5:22am

    This article cant be correct. Who the f*^k takes a computer to geek squad besides the elderly? Half the geek squad employees probably copy the kiddie porn to keep for themselves. What a joke.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2017 @ 5:26am

    Will they will also be setting up hidden web cams in agents bathrooms? Perhaps they could help set up a new playpen website as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Aleric, 10 Jan 2017 @ 5:44am

    Remember this all occurred under barack hussein obamas term and he was touted as the most open and transparent administration in history. What they forgot to tell you is that it applied to your privacy and not their actions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:23am

      Re:

      There is only one week left to shred evidence.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Celeste Guanini, 10 Jan 2017 @ 11:27pm

      Re:

      what don't you understand about " the most open and transparent administration in history."?

      He was talking about opening your private life, and making it transpararent.

      I thought EVERYBODY knew that....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    waltz, 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:01am

    Best Buy Geek Squads

    Waste of money! BB Geek Squads are totally inept. I know more than they do and I consider myself computer illiterate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Simon Jester, 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:19am

    It was in a zip file with a bunch of classified emails from Hillary Clinton, and the defendant deleted it all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DisgustedBySellouts (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:22am

    Best Buy just lost us a consumers.........period!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Shermanus (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 8:16am

    Bestbuy plants spyware

    The ailing company has obviously found a new income stream. Be aware: When you buy a computer from them , it has a Geek Squad software preinstalled ! Allegedly to help diagnose problems ....
    To remove it, you are told to go to Geek Squad to have it removed for free...,!
    Better not buy from Bestbuy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nobody, 10 Jan 2017 @ 1:40pm

    Insufficient Paranoia

    Dammit Tim, you had this! From the article you linked:

    Judge Upholds UPS Employee/Paid Informant's Search Of An Intercepted Package

    The Geek Squad member who comes across child porn while repairing a computer performs a private search, and that's perfectly legal and constitutional.

    Where's your paranoia now?! Looks like it's time for a new hat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Animedude5555 (profile), 10 Jan 2017 @ 2:54pm

    You guys are looking at this from the wrong angle.

    They aren't hired employees of the FBI. They are ordinary people, who have been informed by the FBI that there's a reward for anybody who can find child porn pictures and turn them in to the FBI. They are under no obligation to seek out the images, only report the images if they happen to run across them. However, since reporting these images now carries a cash reward, the Geek Squad guys have chosen to seek out the images on computers, in order to be able to get the reward money. At no point are ANY Geek Squad employees actually under contract or hire by the FBI. Therefore, Geek Squad members have ZERO obligation to protect your 4th amendment rights. As I said, it's not like the FBI has specifically sought out Geek Squad, and given them an exclusive deal that only they can earn this $500 cash reward for finding and reporting CP on computers. If they did single them out like that, that would be equivalent to hiring them, and thus making them FBI employees. Instead, they FBI simply informed Geek Squad members that there is a monetary reward for finding and reporting child porn images on people's computers. Anybody can actually claim the reward though, just like when law enforcement puts up a wanted poster of a suspect, anybody can find that suspect and turn them in, and claim the reward. Only difference here is that instead of a specific person that is "wanted", it is a type of image that is "wanted". If I found CP on a friend's computer, and reported it to the FBI, I could also get a $500 reward, even though I'm not a member of the Geek Squad.

    There is absolutely NO 4th amendment violation here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 7:18am

      Re: You guys are looking at this from the wrong angle.

      > At no point are ANY Geek Squad employees actually under
      > contract or hire by the FBI. Therefore, Geek Squad
      > members have ZERO obligation to protect your 4th
      > amendment rights.

      I think the argument is something like:

      1. These people have been asked to do this by the FBI.
      2. When these people do this, they get paid by the FBI.
      3. Because of the combination of points 1 and 2, these people are acting on behalf of the FBI when they do this.
      4. In acting on behalf of the FBI, these people qualify as government actors.
      5. Government actors are bound by the constraints of the Fourth Amendment.

      The differentiating factor in point 1 is the fact that (apparently) the FBI sought these people out in order to notify them of the existence of the reward and make them aware that reporting what they find could get them money. Although random members of the public could also report such things and receive the same reward, most members of the public have not been targeted to be informed of the existence of the reward.

      Omit either point 1 or point 2 and you might invalidate point 3 and/or 4, either of which would make point 5 irrelevant.

      I read your argument as being that point 1 is invalid, because the reward is good no matter who reports the material. The counter to that argument is the argument I presented above about the FBI having gone out of their way to specifically target messaging about the award to these people. The linked article quotes someone as saying that "FBI and Best Buy made sure that during the period from 2007 to the present, there was always at least one supervisor who was an active informant."; that sounds like more active involvement than simply putting up a wanted poster.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Animedude5555 (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:29pm

        Re: Re: You guys are looking at this from the wrong angle.

        The reason they probably targeted Geek Squad, for who to inform of the existence of this reward, is because they knew they would have access to many people's computers, and so they would be in a position to try to cash in on the reward by searching the computers. I am guessing that many computer repair companies (not just Geek Squad) have been similarly informed by the FBI of the existence of this reward. The average every day person is not in a position to search through many people's computers to find CP to report to the FBI. People that do computer repair jobs are in such a position.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 8:16am

      Re: You guys are looking at this from the wrong angle.

      *At no point are ANY Geek Squad employees actually under contract or hire by the FBI. Therefore, Geek Squad members have ZERO obligation to protect your 4th amendment rights.*

       
      Wrong. One of the legal determinations the courts use to figure out whether someone is an "agent" or "actor" for the government is whether a reward is offered.

      >In determining whether a private party acted as an "instrument or agent" of the government, we consider several factors, including whether the government knew of and acquiesced in the intrusive conduct; whether the private party's purpose in conducting the search was to assist law enforcement; **and whether the government requested the action or offered the private actor a reward.**
      [United States v. Crowley, 285 F.3d 553 (7th Cir. 2002)](https://casetext.com/case/us-v-crowley-7) Emphasis mine.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Gwiz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 8:20am

        Re: Re: You guys are looking at this from the wrong angle.

        I really hate this markdown crap. Works sometimes here and other times not.

        At least you should have the comment preview actually preview with markdown if we are forced to use it now.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 11 Jan 2017 @ 8:35am

          Re: Re: Re: You guys are looking at this from the wrong angle.

          Nevermind. I just have to remember to check the "use markdown" button every time.

          Change sucks. Now get off my lawn.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Animedude5555 (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:11pm

        Re: Re: You guys are looking at this from the wrong angle.

        So if I read a wanted poster offering a reward, and then go out searching for the guy so I can turn him into the authorities, that automatically makes me officially a government agent? I don't think that's how it works.

        You're just mad because you probably are a pedo, who's in need of a computer repair, and the one computer repair group that you thought you could trust to not look through your files (Geek Squad) you have now just discovered that it actually DOES look through your files.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 10 Jan 2017 @ 4:12pm

    Stuff like this is why I will never leave any computer unattended at any kind of service shop.

    When I had a problem in the recent past (computer wouldn't boot, just beeped), I took it to a local computer shop. He tested the power supply while I watched, but said if I wanted him to do more in-depth testing, I'd have to leave it (and pay a fee). I asked about leaving it without the drives, but they said they needed them to diagnose the problem (not actually true for a hardware problem, any boot drive should suffice). I declined.

    There's no way I'm going to let a stranger look through my private files. Who knows what they might take exception to.

    In the end, I ordered an identical motherboard off eBay, however after cleaning all the parts in preparation for moving them to the new board, I hooked everything back up and it booted. It's been working ever since.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GEMont, 10 Jan 2017 @ 6:01pm

    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier; Spies, All.

    Say what?

    Sorry. I got as far as the revelation that the FBI is America's largest employer, and then shit myself....

    Gotta go now.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GEMont, 10 Jan 2017 @ 7:55pm

    Spies All!

    Phew! Close!

    Hmmmmm.... I wonder what the total yearly Tax-Payer's bill is for FBI, CIA, NSA, ETC. paid secret, private-employee informants and their infrastructure, and if there is a maximum number of such secret employees allowed per Agency...

    That a Federal US Agency lied, cheated and blatantly misused the powers vested in it by the Law is naturally no surprise, and is in fact rather expected today.

    However, that one might enter a department store where all but the manager moonshine on the tax-payer's ticket for different federal agencies, is, well, about as creepy a thought as one can think, so I'll make it my Unthinkable Think for the Day. :)

    Thanx again Amerika!

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:10am

    The incompetence is strong with this thread... Lots of inexperienced low life's trying to stick it to the man when they have the slightest clue what he/she is talking about. Easy to bash a corporation behind a computer screen claiming you know, without a shadow of a doubt, what this article says is completely accurate. I don't know about you but there are no details to support these accusations. Good job on this Fiction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dumb A$$, 11 Jan 2017 @ 6:29am

    You Guys Are Stupid!

    You people will believe anything you read. Dumb people at its finest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    That Guy, 11 Jan 2017 @ 7:56pm

    Shifting the blame

    As a Geek Squad Agent the customers data privacy is job one. That being said if in the course of my virus removal, or fix for the clients misbehaving email client I find child porn, not only is it my duty, but its the law that I report it. Anyone who tries to use the phrase "they go digging for your data" is probably somebody afraid to be outed in some way. Let me assure you we dont really give a fuck what you do so long as its not child porn. If your really afraid of somebody seeing your shit protip: dont keep it on the computer, they make external hdds for shit like that. As a Geek Squad agent This whole article is offensive. Like with any large group of people one or two are going to be bad apples but the suggestion here is that all agents are snooping for your stash of porn is totally wrong. In the course of our work sometimes we see things, things we cant unsee we keep it to our selves and act as professionals which includes sending tips to the authorities when we stumble across a fucking pedophile. So if this article exists for a reason its just to warn the pedo-bears of the world away from us because they might be caught. way to go. Though on the same note how much of a shit storm would these same people be on about if we didnt warn the fbi about people like this??? Here is how that conversation would go " well you knew he had child porn why didnt you tell anyone?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Animedude5555 (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:14pm

      Re: Shifting the blame

      Actually, that's a bit misleading. Data privacy being "job one" simply means you don't show the general public every file on your customers' computers' harddrives. It doesn't though mean that you don't look through it yourself, solely for the purpose of trying to discover child porn, and then report (as you are required to do under the law) any child porn you find to the authorities. I think both you and I know that fact, but you just don't want to admit it, because it would be bad PR for you. But let me tell you that personally I agree with that policy. Child predators should have no place to hide.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Conundrum, 12 Jan 2017 @ 2:19am

    Re. Shifting the blame

    Random searches are a good thing. Not reporting this is a worse crime than the original offense IMHO.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Agent Joe, 12 Jan 2017 @ 3:38pm

    I am a Geek Squad Agent.

    I work for Geek Squad as an Advanced Repair Agent and I am the one who deals with client data and the only thing we see is what is out in the open. If a client wants a data backup, we usually run the data through a separate machine and the only thing we see is the name of the directories and files. If we are cleaning a machine and suspect illegal material on the machine, we don't search for anything. We contact the authorities and let them deal with it. It has happened quite a few times with child porn and to anyone who looks at that, they deserve a lot worse than Geek Squad turning them into authorities. I don't feel bad for a predator being caught one bit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Animedude5555 (profile), 12 Jan 2017 @ 8:15pm

      Re: I am a Geek Squad Agent.

      Don't you run special "undelete" software on computers to try to to find all deleted child porn pics to report to the FBI?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GEMont, 13 Jan 2017 @ 2:34pm

    Expendable Federal Government resources. Citizen Spies.

    Sorry Geeksters, but your secret is now out.

    It does not matter that what you reported was child porn.

    The simple fact that you get paid by the Feds to examine the image files and anything else you feel like examining on customers' computers is all that the public needs to know about you.

    There is absolutely no way you're ever gonna run a successful damage control op on this one. Geek Squad Employees are now known to be duly designated federal agent employees who get paid on the side, to find criminal evidence on customer computers.

    That is now a known fact.

    While I notice all the posts claiming to be Geek Squadders dwell solely on the notion that ONLY Child Porn is ever found and reported, I also assume this is due to the fact that the Feds only admitted to paying for kiddie porn tips.

    Nobody will be surprised to later learn that searches for drug dialogues, terrorist articles or communications, or evidence of any of the other myriad forms of crime the FBI deals with, are also being searched for by these Geek Squadders, and no doubt numerous other tech company employees seeking a secret second income.

    Simply put, it is now common knowledge that using the Geek Squad for computer repairs is essentially the same as sending your computer to the FBI, and if this impacts the Geek Squad's income, they have nobody to blame but themselves for their gullibility in trusting the Federal Government, who outed them publicly.

    This situation should go far towards showing future would be secret federal assistants such as the Geek Squad, just how shit rolls downhill when working with federal agencies. You're all expendable resources, to be tossed into the fire as soon as the Fed feels cornered.

    There is a lesson here. Hopefully honest companies will now realize the stupidity of trusting the Fed for anything and pass this awareness along to their employees.

    ----

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MA, 13 Mar 2017 @ 8:26pm

    Geek Squad

    just spent 1500.00 at BB--now you tell me! Still have 11 days remaining on the 15 day no questions asked return policy though. Just a thought.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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