For example, our Geek Squad agents are trained to never access data on a customer's device provided to Geek Squad for their service, except in limited circumstances, and only to the extent necessary to provide the service, for example, when you ask us to recover your data. Your laptop will not be searched. It's against politics and they can only report the CP if they see files with suspicious names on the desktop or appear during a transfer, but they're not allowed to open files. Trust me, open boxes and Apple's AASP keep a police station too busy to rummage through people's hard drives.
Best Buy has a great support service at Geek Squad. It is the only national technological service center and makes house calls. A technician came to calibrate my HDTV, and the difference was day and night. That, ladies and gentlemen, is as blatant a case of unconstitutional search and seizure as it seems.
According to court records, Geek Squad technician John Trey Westphal found an image of a white prepubescent woman completely naked in her hands and knees on a bed, with a brown choker-like necklace around her neck. Westphal notified his boss, who was also an FBI informant, who alerted another FBI informant, as well as the FBI itself. The FBI has virtually guaranteed that the case will be dismissed because of his behavior, leaving aside this illegal search. Rettenmaier's defense lawyer, the agents made two additional searches on the computer without obtaining the necessary warrants, lied to trick a federal judge into authorizing a search warrant for his house, and then tried to cover up their misdeeds by initially hiding the records.
In addition, the file was found in unallocated garbage space, meaning that it could only be recovered by carving with sophisticated forensic tools. Carving (or file carving) is defined as searching for files or other types of objects based on content, rather than metadata. It is used to recover old files that have been deleted or damaged. It turns out that Best Buy had a valid reason for running such a tool.
The company states that, in the case of Dr. Rettenmaier, he was dedicated to recovering data from the customer's computer. Therefore, it was correct to use such a tool in this case. To prove child pornography, you have to prove that the owner knew that what they had was actually child pornography.
There has been a court case in which files found in an unallocated space did not constitute conscious possession because it is impossible to determine who put the file there and how, since the user cannot access it under normal circumstances. Best Buy has done their denial and, since they can't prove a refusal (that they're not spying), it becomes a matter of faith. Do you trust them in light of the accusations made by Dr. Rettenmaier's lawyer? You have to make that call.
The court case will decide if the FBI acted unconstitutionally, so more evidence, whether damning or exculpatory, could be presented to the court. Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in Southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and built every x86 PC he's ever owned, not including laptops. With a multitude of computer repair options, Geek Squad from Best Buy is one of the most you see when you search the web.
Leave a Comment