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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.