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BEST BUY’S GEEK SQUAD Investigates Customer’s Computers For The FBI

by Pamela Williams
First of all, I want to make it perfectly clear, I think anyone involved in pedophilia/child porn should be arrested and prosecuted. It is a growing problem in the world, and it must be dealt with. I am not sure at this point, if we are more informed now, or if it is actually a growing problem. Probably it is safe to say both of these points are valid. Of course, it does seem in the past year we have heard and investigated, as citizen journalists, instances of pedophilia which seems to be legitimate but unproven at this time. However, I do feel in the coming year, we will find answers to our questions about these abhorrent acts some of us have investigated.
Now, this is a topic that every computer owner should be interested in. I, myself, just bought a new computer from BEST BUY, and I also bought the one-year Geek Squad insurance. After my research today, I find myself questioning my purchase of the insurance; however, I always make this additional purchase with a new computer. The following story is one I am pondering upon as we speak. On one hand, I believe it is a good thing, but on the other, I see it as a blatant intrusion into the rights and privacy of the customer.

Best Buy’s Role in a Kiddie Porn Bust Raises Privacy Questions


As you can see this report has been taken from the above reputable website.  I feel during this time of “fake news” this must be stressed.  FROM LINK:

 When Dr. Mark Rettenmaier, a California gynecologist, brought his faulty computer to Best Buy’s “Geek Squad,” the company sent it to a repair facility in Kentucky. In the course of fixing it, a technician made an unpleasant discovery: the hard drive contained evidence of child pornography.

The Best Buy worker turned it over to an FBI agent, who concluded the computer had once stored images known as the “Jenny” shots, a series of photographs showing a naked little girl wearing a collar. The agent used this information to obtain a search warrant for the doctor’s house where the FBI say they found child pornography on other devices, including his iPhone.
Rettenmaier is now fighting charges of child porn possession, claiming the FBI conducted an illegal search and that Best Buy (bby, +1.89%) workers acted as federal agents. In late December, a federal judge sided with the doctor in a procedural ruling, and ordered the FBI to supply more evidence so he could make his ase.

These are my concerns for the Best Buy/Geek Squad Customer:
1. I do not trust any Government Agency to judge the contents of my computer. I research constantly, and if one is working on a controversial subject, one must research that subject to write about that subject.
2. As a Best Buy/Geek Squad customer, I pay for their work on my personal computer. That means I allow them remote access into my files if I hire them to help ME during a computer issue.
3. Further, I do not know that Tech personally, so I am trusting Best Buy to protect me against fraud. What if that Techie decides to plant a file in my computer, then turn it into the FBI? What if the Tech does not have the best judgment, and makes that flawed judgment against me?
4. I wish I could say that I trust the FBI to be fair on my behalf, but I do not have that assurance.
5. There must a law established to protect the customer in an instance such as the above. The customer must be aware of the new frontier the GEEK SQUAD is now a part of.

NOW, I feel that we are crossing a fine line here, and it cannot be understood or properly handled without further laws being established.
Lets look at the other side of issue:
1. Child porn/pedophilia is rampant, and it must be stopped. That means in some cases a citizen observant of a possible suspect…in their opinion, they must report this observation to a law enforcement officer. That is where it becomes difficult to establish the intention of the so-called suspect. Is the suspect actually downloading child porn for their own sexual satisfaction, or to transfer the same to another?
2. Or is the suspect researching the subject in order to write on said subject? How does one tell the difference? You might know better than I.
3. Is the actual involvement of the FBI worth the risk to BEST BUY…if an employee on the Geek Squad feels they must report the files in question to the FBI?
4. A law must be passed to protect the customer and to verify the Tech as an actual trained observer by the FBI with a license to do this type of work with solid judgment.
5. This type of case is one with merit. The doctor in question…this is only MY OPINION…seems to be questionable….I see this. I believe in this instance a Tech should have taken action by reporting the material to Best Buy first and then to the FBI.
In conclusion, we all must work together as citizens, employers, and employees to watch out for the children.  In doing so, we need to have a strict rule of law in the reporting and procedures legally provided to us by lawmakers.  I want to make sure that these Geek Squad Techs are properly vetted by the FBI before I give them remote access to my computer.  I have nothing to hide, but I am a researcher; therefore, I report on various subjects that are high on the list in our world today.


In court filings in the Rettenmaier case, the U.S. government has rejected the argument that Best Buy workers are federal agents, and claimed they don’t act at the behest of the FBI. The doctor’s lawyer, James Riddet, disagrees.
“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. The FBI appears to be able to access data at [Best Buy’s main repair facility] whenever they want,” Riddet told the OC Weekly.
The case is still ongoing, and Rettenmaier is currently out on bail. A spokesperson from Best Buy offered the following comment:
“Best Buy is required by law to report the discovery of certain illegal material to law enforcement, but being paid by authorities to do so would violate company policy. If these reports are true, it is purely poor individual judgment. If we discover child pornography in the normal course of servicing a computer, phone or tablet, we have an obligation to contact law enforcement. We believe this is the right thing to do, and we inform our customers before beginning any work that this is our policy.”
Published on Apr 4, 2013
Before anyone posts a comment about this computer possibly NOT being from Geek Squad and that I am basing ALL my Geek Squad opinions just solely on this one single machine, just know I have been doing this kind of work for over 10 years. I have seen first hand what many Geek Squads have done to machines, either from clients who brought me machines previously serviced by the “geeks”, or by experiences shared by others here on YouTube, by customers and even news outlets. Also, do understand that I did work for one of Geek Squad’s competitors, Staples EasyTech, making a whopping $7.75/hr and have seen firsthand what goes on behind the counter. ALL these retail PC repair chains are more concerned about $$$ to fill their greedy corporate pockets, and could care less about the quality of service/repairs, and could care less about employees. I worked at Staples for 3 months, and it wasn’t for good pay, but rather to see what goes on behind the scenes. I would have been paid better working the registers at Walmart or Target.

This system came to me with an incomplete messy reinstall of Windows XP. The technician did not format the hard drive before reinstalling, resulting in a jumbled up mess of files. No updates, service packs, or drivers were installed. I’m not 100% certain this was a Geek Squad repair, but that fresh pink Best Buy sticker on the back of the machine is a clue. This is not the first time I have seen a system come to me fresh from the geeks in this state of condition. If you want to argue that this is not a Geek Squad repair, I never guaranteed that this particular job was from the Geeks, though I have seen similar work come from the Meek Squad in years past.