Skip to comments.Best Buy's Geek Squad Finds Child Porn on Janitor's Computer, Janitor Arrested
Posted on 01/17/2008 6:03:54 PM PST by Teflonic
Best Buy's Geek Squad isn't exactly known for respecting people's property. This time, however, instead of us catching them, they caught a guy with child porn.
A middle school custodian sent in a hard drive back in August of 2007 to recover lost data. Upon performing their usual search (and invasion of personal privacy), the Geek Squadders at a Twin Cities location found over 800 images of young girls between the ages of 7 and 15 in various states of undress and performing sexual acts. The Geek Squad promptly turned the evidence over to the police. The police eventually obtained a search warrant and -- upon execution -- found more evidence in the janitor's home.
While we would like to say that this guy is sick and deserves whatever punishment he gets, we are disturbed by the conduct of Geek Squad employees who seem to make it a habit of going through customer data. Whether or not the data is illegal and leads to arrest, warrantless searches by non-law-enforcement personnel is disturbing on an ethical level and we're pretty sure unconstitutional.
If in the process of recovering your data they stumbled onto your financial records and gave them a nice long glance would you not be angry at their perusement of your data?
Think of it this way. If the janitor wasn’t into child porn, the “Geek Squad” people would still have been rummaging through his personal files. Are you okay with that?
Good for the Geeks!
The guy is an idiot. Private searches are not unconstiutional. Best Buy is not an agency of the government.
Good on ‘em!!
If this a**hole wanted his privacy he could have protected it by not sticking his sick perversion into a public marketplace for which he chose to pay.
I hope this Mother****er ends up in chemical castration.
this is in now way an illegal search.
"here, take my stuff and fix it, but don't look at it!"
This is scary. Doesn't this guy know that the constitution only protects people from the government? The constitution has no effect on the geek squad or any other private entity. They provided probable cause for the government to obtain a warrant, the same as if you had overheard others planning a crime and turned them in.
The expectation of privacy ends where? The man was no longer in possession of his data, in essence, he handed it to someone else.
I’m glad the Geek Squad did the right thing and turn this idiot over to the police.
Anyone who takes a computer to Best Buy with a full hard drive deserves to have their head examined.
One should expect that eveything in your hard drive is open to being looked at and copied.
Not a good idea to give your hard drive to anyone unless you are willing for them to see everything on it.
That pretty well sums it up. Take your car to the shop with a kilo of cocaine under the seat and claim “invasion of privacy” when it’s found. See how far that’ll get ya. :)
These creepy scumbags always try to situate themselves in amongst children. They never seem content just to look at pictures, which is disgusting enough. He was no doubt up to no good and with equally little doubt was actually targeting children for hands-on molestation. Bravo for the Geek Squad! They almost surely saved one or more kids from being molested by this perverted pig.
This isn't about whether the guy skates on the child porn charge or not. Best Buy is not a state actor, so anything they do has no affect on the charges. However, is it ethical for Best Buy to rummage through someone's hard drive? I'm no techie, so I don't know. The question I guess is whether they need to go through the hard drive to do their job and just came by this by accident or do they routinely look through peoples' hard drives for a few laughs and maybe to mine personal data.
A car mechanic finds a stash of child porn pics in the trunk of a car as he replaces a burnt out tail light. By your standard he shouldn’t report it?
If my financial records were proof of a felony then sure the techs should report it. What’s wrong with private citizens reporting crimes?
If you have sensitive data it should be kept in an encrypted folder or in offline storage.
If your car is being serviced and the mechanic notices a kilo of cocaine in the trunk should he not report it because he had no business opening your trunk?
Years ago when I worked in a photo lab in lauderdale if we came across perverted stuff we ran it by the man.....probly the same thing......I guess in the small print some where you are giving consent when you hand the film/hard drive over.
I don't see it as much different as handing one's 35mm film over to a photo lab for development.
In both cases, the technician would most likely be obligated by law to report something of this nature to the authorities if they uncover it. The key point is one can't trust them not to rummage through the data, if that's an issue, then use someone that is trusted or learn how to do it and eliminate the middleman.
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