(CNET) — FBI agents paid employees in Best Buy’s Geek Squad unit to act as informants, documents published Tuesday reveal.
Agents paid managers in the retailer’s device repair unit to pass along information about illegal content discovered on customers’ devices, according to documents posted online by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The digital rights group sued the FBI for the documents last year after the bureau denied a Freedom of Information Act request.
The EFF filed the lawsuit to learn the extent to which the agency trains and directs Best Buy Geek Squad employees to conduct warrantless searches of customers’ devices during maintenance. The EFF said it was concerned that use of repair technicians to root out evidence of criminal behavior circumvents people’s constitutional rights.