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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Law Enforcement Should Not Be Able to Bypass the Fourth Amendment to Search Your Devices

Sending your computer to Best Buy for repairs shouldn’t require you to surrender your Fourth Amendment rights. But that’s apparently what’s been happening when customers send their computers to a Geek Squad repair facility in Kentucky.

We think the FBI’s use of Best Buy Geek Squad employees to search people’s computers without a warrant threatens to circumvent people’s constitutional rights. That’s why we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit today against the FBI seeking records about the extent to which it directs and trains Best Buy employees to conduct warrantless searches of people’s devices. Read our complaint here [PDF].

EFF has long been concerned about law enforcement using private actors, such as Best Buy employees, to conduct warrantless searches that the Fourth Amendment plainly bars police from doing themselves. The key question is at what point does a private person’s search turn into a government search that implicates the Fourth Amendment. As described below, the law on the question is far from clear and needs to catch up with our digital world.



Anonymous said...

When my parents, friends and neighbors would say they are taking their pc to geek squad my first response is, why would you let some underpaid flunky look through your personal stuff on you pc.

Most people are naive and oblivious to the fact that, that is what they are doing.

What they also do, to fix a problem, in the most laziest way, instead of actually fixing the issue they reinstall windows and that wipes out all your files and other purchased software.

When I fix people's issues I do it in front of them and not wade thru their personal files.

Anonymous said...

Cool I need work done what is you contact information?

Anonymous said...

The Geek squad is a joke. I worked there. I watched them unknowingly put viruses on customer computers and then charged the customer $299 to take it off. Turned out they all had thumb drives that were infected. It was me who realized that every time certain employees touched a computer it ended up with the same virus. I had them let me check their thumb drives and sure enough they were infected.

Anonymous said...

After you called the police what happened? I like reading the court documents. City? And court house?

Anonymous said...

648 I call bs