FBI Paid Best Buy’s Geek Squad To Search For Child Porn On Customer Computers

A judge is expected to rule on whether Best Buy employees can legally receive cash payments from the FBI for assisting the agency by revealing child pornography found on customers’ computers.

In recent revelations, it was reported that employees of Geek Squad, a subset of Best Buy workers tasked with repairing computers, had developed a relationship with FBI agents for the purpose of ferreting out child porn, in exchange for cash payments.

Best Buy claimed that the incidents were isolated, but now a customer has sued the company and the FBI, claiming that legal protocol regarding warrants and searches was violated after money exchanged hands, according to the Washington Post.

Geek Squad employees, persuaded to collaborate with FBI agents, were offered between $500 and $1,000 for providing information that led to arrests.

Best Buy has denied that their employees acted wrongly, pointing out that they are legally obliged by US law to report any illegal content. The company, however, has subsequently fired at least three technicians.

“Any decision to accept payment was in very poor judgment and inconsistent with our training and policies,” reads a statement by Best Buy, cited by Rawstory.com. “Three of these employees are no longer with the company and the fourth has been reprimanded and reassigned.”

Lawyers also asserted that paying Best Buy employees to search customers’ computers is in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure.

Best Buy stated that “As a company, we have not sought or received training from law enforcement in how to search for child pornography. Our policies prohibit employees from doing anything other than what is necessary to solve the customer’s problem.

In the wake of these allegations, we have redoubled our efforts to train employees on what to do — and not to do — in these circumstances.”

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