Saturday, March 18, 2017

15.12 - Update: government spying on citizens

Update: government spying on citizens

Finally, last week I also talked some about privacy in a digital age, specifically, government intrusions into that privacy.

Here's another aspect of that.

Court records have revealed that the FBI has recruited and paid technicians at Best Buy's Geek Squad to do deep scans of the hard drive of computers brought in for service and report anything they find that seems sketchy to them.

Defenders of the practice argue that when you bring in a computer for service, you allow the technicians access to your hard drive and if they find something criminal - kiddie porn is the example invariably thrown up - it's their obligation to report it.

Which is all true and all completely irrelevant because here we are not talking about accidentally finding criminal material, we are talking about people actively looking for it - and no, contrary to what I have seen claimed, except for some potential unusual circumstances, you do not have to actually examine the content of de-allocated sectors on a hard drive in order to service it. You may see something is an image file or a text file, but you do not have to view the image or read the text to do your job - unless your job is to be a paid snoop for the feds.

Two bits of advice: encrypt your data and don't go to Geek Squad.

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