New reports are saying that Best Buy's Geek Squad employees have been working with FBI informants for over a decade, as Huffington Post reports.
The news source reports that Best Buy workers have previously alerted law enforcement upon finding illegal material—namely, child pornography—on customers' hard drives, but the new documents reportedly show that the FBI met with Geek Squad teams “at least as early as 2008” and “viewed some workers as paid informants,” HuffPost reports.
As Engadget explains, The Electronic Frontier Foundation claims to have located a memo from 2008, which detailed a meeting with the FBI's Cyber Working Group at the Geek Squad's repair facility in Kentucky, with other documents reportedly showing that the FBI and Geek Squad teams developed a process for reporting suspicious content.
Best Buy says the company has an obligation to alert authorities when employees find child pornography, which is definitely important.
However, it does raise concerns when employees accept money from the FBI for their help in said cases.
A Best Buy spokesperson told Huffington Post that their technicians “do not actively search for such content and only discover it inadvertently” and that accepting payment is “inconsistent” with their training policies.
Read the company's statement to HuffPost below:
“As a company, we have not sought or received training from law enforcement in how to search for child pornography. Our policies prohibit employees from doing anything other than what is necessary to solve the customer’s problem. In the wake of these allegations, we have redoubled our efforts to train employees on what to do — and not do — in these circumstances.
“We have learned that four employees may have received payment after turning over alleged child pornography to the FBI. Any decision to accept payment was in very poor judgement and inconsistent with our training and policies. Three of these employees are no longer with the company and the fourth has been reprimanded and reassigned.”