Ah, the Geek Squad. The often maligned tech and repair arm of the electronics chain Best Buy. More in the know geeks shun the Squad for a myriad of reasons but they still do a fair amount of business with soccer moms and novice tech enthusiasts. They’ve been accused of some dirty things in the past but this latest allegation is downright illegal.
A Louisville, KY Geek Squad employee is at the center of a child pornography case. Not that he is being investigated for having it or dissemination of it but instead Justin Meade is accused of searching customer computers for the FBI looking to find the filthy trash.
From 2009 to 2012, Meade is believed to have actively searched computers and laptops brought into his location’s Geek Squad for illegal content, such as child pornography, all while having no search warrant. He is also said to have been a paid liason for the FBI during his tenure as a Squad agent.
Both Meade and the FBI deny said allegations. Best Buy has gone on record to state that if an employee finds material deemed illegal, it is to be reported. However, a Geek Squad worker can only find this illegal content opening files considered necessary for fixing a computer. The tech repair team is not allowed to go fishing in a customer’s private files for any reason, without a warrant, looking for content like child pornography.
Meade has been paid an amount of $500 by the FBI, what that was for is up in the air. The Bureau hasn’t exactly come forward with the purpose of the pay out and the Geek Squad cat in the hot seat can’t remember ever receiving the money. Meade was moved out of the position in 2012, whether that is related is up in the air.
The reason the Geek Squad and Meade are in the cross hairs is child pornography was found on a shopper’s system, which was turned into the Feds. The lawyer for the defendant is motioning for the evidence to be dismissed due to Meade’s alleged illegal searches. As of right now, the motion is under review as Meade’s and the FBI’s actions are being investigated.
I really don’t know what to say here geeks. I’ve had family members run into a crap load of problems with the Geek Squad when they didn’t come to me and the Internet is full of outraged people beyond upset by things done to them. Girls have claimed Squad agents have searched through their private files and either copied or uploaded pictures of a very personal nature such as nudes.
Have any of my geeks had problems with the Geek Squad? Have trusting family fall victim to them? Are you on the other side of the fence perhaps? Can you do nothing but sing the Squad’s praises? This is a hot button issue so leave your comments but please, do keep it civil.