Newly released documents show that the FBI paid members of Best Buy’s computer and device repair service Geek Squad to pass on information about illegal materials found on customer machines.
The documents, released by the non-profit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed last year after the FBI denied a request for records about its relationship with Geek Squad.
According to the document obtained by the EFF, the FBI has maintained a relationship with Geek Squad for at least 10 years and has cultivated informants within the consumer electronics repair unit who provide the law enforcement agency with tips on illegal activity.
The relationship was developed between the FBI’s Louisville division and employees within Geek Squad’s national repair facility in Brooks, Kentucky. The Washington Post previously reported at least eight Geek Squad employees were paid to provide information to the FBI.