Anyone who hires these overpriced morons and their little VW’s SHOULD be arrested for sheer stupidity!
After hearing about their low prices, I visited a Best Buy once. As it was my first visit, I wanted to browse around. The salespeople were so persistent and obnoxious that I left and have never been back.
What if the janitor had hundreds of mp3’s on his computer that he downloaded from a file sharing site and the Geek Squad alerted the Recording Industry of America?
If I was the Recording Industry, I’d be paying a bounty to the Geek Squad for every tip. I bet it’s happening.
“we’re pretty sure unconstitutional”
No... actually it’s not. No state action.
How do you know if data was recovered with out testing. The drive was sent in for data recovery. When I recover drives I will open a few files of different types to see if they open. If there are files you need to be kept private it should be disclosed before the drive is turned in to the the tech. You can encrypt files so the can’t be viewed on other computer.
“sent in a hard drive back in August of 2007 to recover lost data.”
So what was Best Buy supposed to do? Recover the data with their eyes closed?
Unconstitutional? How could it be?
Let’s forget for just a moment that the constitution is a document that specifically spells out the responsibilities and limitations of government, not private individuals.
Instead, let’s focus on the facts of the case... the man gave the damned harddrive to someone to work on, and he’s shocked when that technician stumbles across that filth? Even if it wasn’t a private individual working on the HDD, if the rocket scientist turned janitor had turned his disk over to a law enforcement officer who had promised to recover the lost data, the child porn would STILL be admissible in court.
Plain sight during lawful activities? No reasonable expectation of privacy? The fact that a non-coerced private search is generally not subject to either the fourth amendment or the exclusionary rule?
I'm pretty sure Mr. Terrence O'Brien has not the slightest clue of what the Constitution is about. Hint: the 4th Amendment doesn't apply to Best Buy's Geeks, because they're not part of the government.
Did a google news search on this story and this is the only mention of it. One of the reasons I posted this was in hopes of it being picked up by a larger news outlet willing to give the name of the janitor and what school he worked at. There’s a good bet at least some of those pictures were of students at the school he worked at. Is the school covering this up?
Disturbing, yes. Unconstitutional? No. They are not the government and the guy willingly gave them access to the drive.
I fix alot of computers... and I make it a point not to look into peoples files... there are things I don’t want to know. A smart person will know how to encrypt their private files, most will not. As much as I want this guy to fry - I have a problem with a bunch of GEEKS snooping in his stuff, and playing gotcha.
Sounds like a plumber coming over your house and looking your drawers.
I really haven’t figured Internet porn. How can so much obviously illegal (Kiddie porn and beastiality etc) stuff be out there and not actively investigated. And, if there is so much free stuff out there, how is anyone making any money. I saw an interview with Larry Flynt in the mid 90’s who said the internet would ruin the magazine business because there is so much free stuff that no one would pay for it.
And pedophiles, let me give you a hint. If you are on line and she (or he) seems interested in a 50 year old, 300 pound loser still living with his parents- your chatting with a cop.
How do you do a retrieval without somebody going through your stuff? My last computer died. I don’t have porn, but I do have my on-computer journal. I don’t especially want anybody reading that.
Couple of comments:
- There is no way to do data recovery without seeing the data fly past during the process. I’ve been in this business a long time and the file names and directory names I’m sure were a dead giveaway. At that point, it is illegal to NOT report it.
- Chances are, the guy deleted the illegal photos already in the past and thought they were gone, but the data recovery process unearths stuff like that, you can’t separate it and unless you know what you are doing, deleted doesn’t necessarily mean deleted.
- Secondly, I think he will skate. The evidence was not obtained legally and the search warrant for his home was based on that evidence as well.
- Lastly, never let anyone touch your private data who isn’t willing to sign a privacy/intellectual/non disclosure property agreement in advance. This is S.O.P. for us guys who do this stuff for a living.
Anyone who sends a hard drive to another person to recover the data is a fool to expect any type of privacy.
Hey! I guess those morons are good for something after all!
this goes on all the time......many PC repair joints routinely turn in illegal stuff they see.
Well, "they" are pretty darned wrong. There is nothing the least bit "unconstitutional" about what happened here. The Constitution is supposed to protect you against GOVERNMENT abuse. It seems that fewer and fewer people understand this. This could be seen as an abuse of power, opening Geek Squad to civil and possible, but doubtful, criminal prosecution, but it's NOT "unconstitutional."
Actually, when you turn your computer or hard drive over to someone to repair it, you are giving consent for them to view anything contained therein.
Too bad for Mr. Clean-up, but the Geek Squad did what they were suppose to do - notify the authorities if anything illegal was found on a computer. In this case, the computer was a container.
Yo also lose the right when yo cross the border - it is totally legal to conduct a warrantless search of computer files at the US border.
(I just completed a class in Computer crime & legal issues - taught by an FBI guy. Very interesting class)
I have no prob with what he did and no prob with what the Geek Squad did.