As the FBI continues to come under fire for their inability, or unwillingness, to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her email crimes, another disturbing bit of news is hitting the wire.
The public image of the FBI is that of an elite squad of super sleuths, working in tandem with informants in the highest degrees of their profession. Clandestine meetings, incredibly talented detectives, and all of the romantic ideals of the gritty criminal underworld.
As it turns out, that’s not quite the case at all.
“Law enforcement has a number of informants working for it and the companies that already pay their paychecks, like UPS, for example. It also has a number of government employees working for the TSA, keeping their eyes peeled for ‘suspicious amounts of cash it can swoop in and seize.
“Unsurprisingly, the FBI also has a number of paid informants. Some of these informants apparently work at Best Buy — Geek Squad by day, government informants by… well, also by day.
“According to court records, Geek Squad technician John ‘Trey’ Westphal, an FBI informant, reported he accidentally located on Rettenmaier’s computer an image of ‘a fully nude, white prepubescent female on her hands and knees on a bed, with a brown choker-type collar around her neck.’ Westphal notified his boss, Justin Meade, also an FBI informant, who alerted colleague Randall Ratliff, another FBI informant at Best Buy, as well as the FBI. Claiming the image met the definition of child pornography and was tied to a series of illicit pictures known as the ‘Jenny’ shots, agent Tracey Riley seized the hard drive.
“Not necessarily a problem, considering companies performing computer/electronic device repair are legally required to report discovered child porn to law enforcement. The difference here is the paycheck. This Geek Squad member had been paid $500 for digging around in customers’ computers and reporting his findings to the FBI. That changes the motivation from legal obligation to a chance to earn extra cash by digging around in files not essential to the repair work at hand.
“More of a problem is the FBI’s tactics. While it possibly could have simply pointed to the legal obligation Best Buy has to report discovered child porn, it proactively destroyed this argument by apparently trying to cover up the origin of its investigation, as well as a couple of warrantless searches.”
As it turns out, the FBI’s secret weapon in the war on cybercrime happen to be the same folks who help your grandmother uninstall all of the malware on her laptop.
You can read more here.