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Tag: best buy

Judge Drops Child Pornography Case, Saying FBI Misrepresented Facts

Best Buy, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A judge dismissed child pornography charges against a California doctor whose computer was searched following a repair by Best Buy’s Geek Squad because the FBI agent made “several false or misleading statements or omissions... with reckless disregard for the truth” in a search warrant affidavit, The Washington Post reports

The pornography case was triggered by the Geek Squad’s discovery of a photo of a naked girl, believed to be 9 years old. She was not involved in a sex act, and her genitals were not shown.

Technicians tipped off the FBI.

But U.S.District Judge Cormac J. Carney said the FBI misrepresented the case in obtaining a search warrant for the home and computers of oncologist Mark Rettenmaier. Agents found hundreds of pornographic photos on his iPhone.

Carney concluded the search was illegal because FBI agents received the warrant by inaccurately saying “the image was child pornography.” The judge said the photo was “one image of child erotica” and that it “is simply not sufficient to search Dr. Rettenmaier’s entire home, the place where the protective court of the Fourth Amendment is most powerful.”

FBI Pays Best Buy Technicians to ‘Ferret Out Child Porn” on Computers

Best Buy, via Wikipedia

Best Buy, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Technicians for Best Buy’s “Geek Squad City” are being paid by the FBI as part of “a joint venture to ferret out child porn,” according to claims in new federal documents.

The allegations were leveled by lawyers for a California doctor who was charged with possessing child pornography after Best Buy technicians said they found unlawful images on his computer, the Washington Post reports

It has been known that Best Buy’s computer repair facility had a relationship with the FBI, but the new allegations suggest the ties are much deeper the previously believed.

The Post wrote:

While there is no question that Geek Squad technicians have notified authorities after finding child porn, the new court documents assert that there is a deeper relationship than has previously been revealed between the company and federal authorities. The court is now considering the extent of that relationship and whether it is grounds to throw out a pending child porn case, though it could also have ramifications for the dozens of cases which originate from the Kentucky facility annually.

Defense lawyers for the doctor argue that Geek Squad City’s technicians acted as government agents by receiving payments from the FBI, regularly speaking with and referring cases to the FBI, and creating a program to search for child porn. If a government agent wants to search a computer, they need a warrant, and the case has raised issues of privacy invasion and violation of constitutional search and seizure rights.

Attorney: FBI Used Best Buy Employee to Perform Warrantless Searches

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Best Buy employee who worked at the company’s repair center served as a paid FBI informant who essentially performed warrantless searches on electronics at the maintenance facility in Kentucky, according to the attorney of a doctor facing child pornography charges.

Since 2009, “the FBI was dealing with a paid agent inside the Geek Squad who was used for the specific purpose of searching clients’ computers for child pornography and other contraband or evidence of crimes,” defense attorney James Riddet claimed in a court filing last month, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

Riddet is defending Dr. Mark Albert Rettenmaier, who was indicted in November 2014 on two felony counts of child pornography.

Riddet has asked the judge to dismiss most of the evidence in the case because it was taken during illegal searches by a supervisor at the Geek Squad.