Apple store Genius finds child pornography on a Power Mac G5

A man in Stamford, Connecticut is now in police custody after taking his PowerMac G5 computer to an Apple store for repairs relating to problems with image files. Raymond Miller took his computer to the Genius Bar at his local Apple store saying that he was having trouble with image files; when the technician started to look over the computer he found child pornography and alerted the local police.

Miller was immediately arrested after the police confirmed that the computer was his and he is now behind bars awaiting trial. "Miller was charged with one count of possession of child pornography, a class-B felony punishable by a minimum five-year prison sentence upon conviction."

It makes you wonder if Miller was trying to get caught. Why would someone take a computer with illegal content to an Apple store for repair and then point the technician directly to your explicit photos?

If you are also wondering if computer technicians are allowed to search your computer, they do have the right. The Supreme Court refused to hear a case where another individual was caught with child pornography after he gave his computer to Circuit City to install a DVD drive.

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Just look up all the horror stories of former Firedog and Geek Squad employees searching through people's junk. Especially if it is a beautiful woman. Or if they accidentally mess something up, they'll format and tell you a virus ruined all your files. It's kind of sad really. Point being, don't take your computer to a bunch of uncertified high school kids that work at your local best buy. You'd be far better off either a) finding a certified computer repair place nearby or b) looking it up online and doing it yourself. They are over priced anyways... My brother's fiance' took her computer to best buy because of a virus. They wanted 250 dollars just to clean it. That's ridiculously overpriced to clean out a virus. (They'll probably just end up wiping Winblowz anyways.)

I was reading a thread on another form about "Sex Offender" laws in the states. Apparently taking a **** in an alley is an automatic indecent exposure == Sex Offender in the law books. I think some of the laws need to be re-written or clarified on these subjects. Pictures of 10 yr olds is plain wrong.

I think though with the computer techs its not a fair thing to say that because its on the computer and they find it, that its ok to arrest the person. There's plenty of other crimes that are noticed by working professionals that never are reported. I deal a lot with finances and I've seen clear cases where people cheat on their taxes but rules and regulations prevent us from doing anything about it.

Tax cheat is not child porn. But, I think there's an obligation of professional conduct and its not fair that if a tech finds illegal stuff on your computer its an automatic police reports. Psychologists for instance have clients that cheat, heavily use illegal drugs, muder, rape, abuse their spouse, etc. All illegal acts but depending on the State or country they are usually obligated not to say anything for client/patient confidentiality. Hell you can admit to your lawyer you broke the law and they usually won't mention a peep to the judge/the court.

I'm think the producers of dateline should film there next sting at the apple store. I'd like to see Chris Hanson in an apple shirt.

Why even visit a repair shop at all? Are people that stupid they can't fit "KEYD" parts together??? Or troubleshoot software issues? The thing I like to do when people come to me is make the situation look worse than it is, then charge extra for these so called "issues" I have "discovered" (sometimes i convince them they need to format and reinstall) an additional 75 dollars will do just fine for that sucker in every pond.

JesusHChrist said,
Stupid people SHOULD be made to pay extra, until they're too broke to breed anymore.


now i feel guilty... your name is a "sign" T^T

Psychologically, it's common for people who are troubled by their actions to do such things in an attempt to "get caught"

People get less for murder. It's not like he produced the child porn himself, as sick as it being in possession of it.

It makes you wonder if Miller was trying to get caught. Why would someone take a computer with illegal content to an Apple store for repair and then point the technician directly to your explicit photos?

If you are also wondering if computer technicians are allowed to search your computer, they do have the right. The Supreme Court refused to hear a case where another individual was caught with child pornography after he gave his computer to Circuit City to install a DVD drive.

it does make you wonder WHY he would do that... surely he aint THAT stupid, right? ... but then again i am glad the guy is stupid since it gets another sick person off the streets to pray on kids etc.

as far as that 'supreme court' thing... i don't think anyone would care to much what the law says in a case like that because if, as far as the law, it's a grey area... then surely the courts will automatically side against a person doing child pornography over there privacy because at the end of the day it's "KIDS ON THE LINE" and we must surely protect them from sick people like that.... because in a case like that the judges really cant side with a person claiming that someone should have never seen it in the first place so they get off, because if that ever happened it would look really bad against the supreme court and for good reason.

I've had my cat for almost 9 years now, thank goodness she's never taken an interest in downloading this stuff.. hah! On a serious note, I think this guy was ready to be caught. Maybe he was very close to taking his sick fantasy and make it reality? Maybe it's a blessing to his neighborhood/community he basically turned himself in and is not able to take this to the next level?

Doubtful considering that there was only one image found, and no other child porn was found at his home. Either he was VERY careful about cleaning up the rest of the stuff, or this one image was accidental.

Maybe his teenage daughter was hunting for photoshopped pics of naked Jonas Brothers.

Hey there's a question! Was it actual child pornography, or like, 16-17 year olds? And why does the law base itself on age when people pass through puberty at different rates? Why hasn't anyone tried to come up with a system to classify people based on actual development and not just chronological age? It seems like it would be incredibly useful for legislation.

Seems like we enjoy drawing lines in the middle of gray areas because it's the "best we can do", even though that roughly estimated line is the difference between nobody caring, and society calling you a monster who deserves a gruesome death.

Joshie said,
Maybe his teenage daughter was hunting for photoshopped pics of naked Jonas Brothers.

Hey there's a question! Was it actual child pornography, or like, 16-17 year olds? And why does the law base itself on age when people pass through puberty at different rates? Why hasn't anyone tried to come up with a system to classify people based on actual development and not just chronological age? It seems like it would be incredibly useful for legislation.

Seems like we enjoy drawing lines in the middle of gray areas because it's the "best we can do", even though that roughly estimated line is the difference between nobody caring, and society calling you a monster who deserves a gruesome death.

There are gray areas sure, but its not about whether the child is in puberty or not. For all anybody cares, somebody can look at pornography of women of age that look like they're younger. The concern in the law is about the safety and well being of children. Which is why there are also statutory rape laws. In that case, it doesn't matter if the child in question is in puberty either.

18 has become the magic age because 18 is when you no longer need a legal guardian to represent you. There's no more to it than that.

Weird. I had a similar problem at work today - but the only images the person had was low resolution pics of Jennifer Love Hewitt - I wanted to give him my collection of high res pics of her.

He should've used a PC. Doh!

I used to install the @Home internet on people's computers long ago and you'd be surprised
at some of the stuff I've seen on people's computers, but never kiddie porn.

I did see a bunch of nude photos of this woman that her husband had scanned of her tied up and in kinky positions, but the woman who was home, when I went to work on the pc, hubby had these pics up on Photoshop, the woman blushed and then she was got mad, cause she didn't know hubby was scanning the pics onto the computer. LOL, she was hotty and no unfortunately I didn't get any tip or sex from her.

virtorio said,
Well good that he got caught, but I wonder if this would have been posted here if it were on a Dell or home-built PC.

Of course it would. Didn't you look at the related articles?

acnpt said,
Want to download child porn? Theres an app for that.

Classic. Ever wanted to download child porn straight to your iPhone? There's an app for that. The iPedo app allows users to search, download and even create child porn. What's even better is that it allows it to sync straight to your Apple Mac either wireless or through iTunes. So if you want child porn, look no further and download iPedo. Remember, there's an app for that.

maybe it was pics of one of his kids, i know people who have pics of their kids naked in the pool or bathtub, they are only a few years old though on their computer. if your at the beach taking pictures of the waves, and some naked kid runs infront of your camera while your taking a picture, or if your taking video, and then it gets uploaded with all the other pics when you upload the pictures to your computer, is that child porn?

i'd like to think that the authorities are smart enough to know the difference between normal family baby pics and somebody with intent collecting pictures of sexual acts of children.

macrosslover said,
i'd like to think that the authorities are smart enough to know the difference between normal family baby pics and somebody with intent collecting pictures of sexual acts of children.

lets hope so.

macrosslover said,
i'd like to think that the authorities are smart enough to know the difference between normal family baby pics and somebody with intent collecting pictures of sexual acts of children.


Yet, he had a massive collection of ONE picture (hence, one count charged against him), and no other child porn was found at his house at all. It all sounds rather fishy to me. Either the file was something innocent as Gabe3 mentioned, or it was accidentally downloaded along with something else.

roadwarrior said,
Yet, he had a massive collection of ONE picture (hence, one count charged against him), and no other child porn was found at his house at all. It all sounds rather fishy to me. Either the file was something innocent as Gabe3 mentioned, or it was accidentally downloaded along with something else.

without know more about the actual image(s) it's hard to say. It could be one image of him personally engaging in a sexual act with a child, in which case it wouldn't matter if it's 1 image or 1k, that ****** is going to prison.

You would be amazed at some of the things I have seen during my time repairing computers.
One such event was a 50 - 55 year old man, told me he was having trouble opening the "My Pictures" folder, so naturally the first thing i'm going to try and get working is that...

There was a large quantity of Homosexual Pornography when I opened it. I then had to phone the customer to say it was working... Try doing that while not gagging!

^ Some people can't stand the sight of two guys going at it. I'd like to assume that I'm one of them (guys aren't pleasant looking to me to begin with). I have no problems with gay people but I would NOT want to see two gay guys banging each other.

(snipped)

I'm in no way a homophobe, although no prior warning to what could be there and the fact that I just do not want to see that far in to a homosexual relationship caused shock.

And the guy that had the stuff was an older "Welsh Farmer". Not a pretty sight I can assure you.


Se7enVII said below,
I have no problems with gay people but I would NOT want to see two gay guys banging each other.

Exactly my point, thank you.

The same thing happened to my ex-boss. He took in his PC to a repair shop and they found child porn on his machine too. Point is, this happens more than you might think. Hardly surprising in this day and age. People shoot each other over Playstations, for crying out loud.

Miller was charged with one count of possession of child pornography

ONE! One picture? For all we know it was a picture of a relative, a niece or a nephew.

What counts as child porn? Naked? Playing in the garden? Bath time?

Or does it have to be "posing" or sexually illicit?

Officially it has to be somehow sexual. In reality, it's any naked photo. At worst, people have been charged for photos that don't even show genetalia.

I use to work on the geek squad when I was in college. I will go ahead and say i'm guilty, but we all went through every computer that came through the store to see what we could find. We'd find porn, amatuer porn people had done themselves and honestly I think we may have found some child porn a couple of times. We'd always just delete it and be done with it. Nobody ever bother to come back and say anything about us deleting the files so I guess that was my way of saying this shouldn't be here. But I guarantee if you take your computer to a tech shop they will go through your files.

Are we not sure that this wasn't just pictures of his kids nude rather than child porn? Remember the woman that was arrested because she had pics of her daughter developed at Walmart and someone there reported her?

GreyWolfSC said,
I don't think it matters whose child it is. Exploiting a child is exploiting a child.

But what constitutes "exploitation"? I'm sure most people have pictures of themselves (or their parents do) naked as a little kid. Perfectly harmless such as fun in the bath, goofing around, etc...

Most snowflake-obsessed people today try not to think about how normal it was to go skinny dipping or play naked in a sprinkler, etc. And really not that long ago. Certainly there are still children who do it today. Being a part of regular, normal, healthy childhood play-time, parents over the past 100 years have taken the opportunity to snap photos of the moments.

Saving the memories of perfectly normal, common, healthy childhood play-time. That's 5 years in prison and oh, btw, you have to live under a bridge for the rest of your life, kthx.

...or, you could read the source link in the article and find that it was 10-12 year old girls in suggestive poses.

GreyWolfSC said,
...or, you could read the source link in the article and find that it was 10-12 year old girls in suggestive poses.

for a dirty mind,almost every single photo is suggestive.

Playing devil's advocate, what if this guy was simply bait-and-switched to some website with a gallery of such images, and they were still in his Internet cache from the unintentional access?

Or maybe he should fall-back on the Peter Townshend Defense?

What I find curious about this is the fact that he was only charged with one count of child porn. That means that there was only one such image found on the computer. That to me sounds more like an accidental download than something deliberate, especially since the article says that a search of the man's home turned up nothing else.

Surprisingly this hasn't been on the news yet here in CT. I watch NBC which is out of West Hartford, so maybe ABC has it since they are out of New Haven. But I don't like ABC...

EDIT: And the guy was from Fairfield, not Stamford. The Apple Store is in Stamford though. It's the only one in the state and nearby me I've never been to.

The title could perfectly have been "Guy takes PC to repair, technician finds child porn, calls the cops" But no, it had to involve, apple, the apple store, the genius, and a power mac g5.

Julius Caro said,
The title could perfectly have been "Guy takes PC to repair, technician finds child porn, calls the cops" But no, it had to involve, apple, the apple store, the genius, and a power mac g5.

Good point!

i think they added the MAC thing there just to catch the eye of readers like us....

Julius Caro said,
The title could perfectly have been "Guy takes PC to repair, technician finds child porn, calls the cops" But no, it had to involve, apple, the apple store, the genius, and a power mac g5.

You don't take a mere PC to an Apple Store.

Lamp0 said,
So what you're saying is that it's a marketing stunt.

"even paedophiles know macs are better"

I was thinking that the title implied that Mac users are pedophiles. All this interest in white shinny things...

But yeah, I agree with the thread starter. The title detracts from the story line. Although it is consistent with the other dishonest titles put on news stories on Neowin lately.

Julius Caro said,
The title could perfectly have been "Guy takes PC to repair, technician finds child porn, calls the cops" But no, it had to involve, apple, the apple store, the genius, and a power mac g5.

Hey, it's not our fault Mac users insist that their Intel-based Personal Computers are no mere PCs. I can't count the times someone mentioned how they were working "on their Mac" when something happened whereas most people would just say "on my computer". Mac people bring up the brand/model of their computer every chance they get.

neodorian said,
Hey, it's not our fault Mac users insist that their Intel-based Personal Computers are no mere PCs. I can't count the times someone mentioned how they were working "on their Mac" when something happened whereas most people would just say "on my computer". Mac people bring up the brand/model of their computer every chance they get.

Its true. Can't help but LoL at the [l]users who insist that a Mac isn't a PC.

It has nothing to do with Apple, it was just an Apple store that found it. If if was Geek Squad the title would have reflected that. Wouldn't make much sense to say it was found by someone else if it was found by an Apple tech.

Julius Caro said,
The title could perfectly have been "Guy takes PC to repair, technician finds child porn, calls the cops" But no, it had to involve, apple, the apple store, the genius, and a power mac g5.

PC = personal computer. No other way around it!

Lamp0 said,
So what you're saying is that it's a marketing stunt.

"even paedophiles know macs are better"


Better video quality. And if need be, you can even edit your own videos with Final Cut Pro!!

Shadrack said,
Its true. Can't help but LoL at the [l]users who insist that a Mac isn't a PC.

I understand how PC has come to mean "Windows PC" in common marketing usage but I never talk or blog about how I was "working on my Lenovo one night when the strangest thing happened" or "got into my Honda and went to the store" but online and offline, I constantly hear/read about how "I was working on my Mac" or "getting a new program for my Mac". Most people would just say "on/for my computer".

I honestly have nothing against the quality of their machines but it's very telling that it has that much to do with brand loyalty and perception.

Nobody will do anything about that. He'll go to his manager and the manager will tell him to let it go and just fix the issue. And the manager will be smart about that. Do you think the stupid authorities have the time to go after every idiot that steals music or movies? And if they do they really are idiots. Going after a 90 year old grandma downloading Elvis Presley songs is just retarded. They should go after mass distributors not the people who download. If you want to stop something you go to the source, not the target.....

How would a tech know they have pirated software or music? Movies, well thats obvious, but the first two, unless they have install programs with cracks and whatnot, whos to say its not a iso image that has been expanded? and music, whos to say the mp3s you have are from the itunes store?

dismuter said,
Computer techs should also report software/movie/music piracy.

This reminds me of a visit to a Dixons shop one day. They had a laptop in the centre of the store hooked up to some Harmon Kardon speakers. You could hear the thing all the way outside. When I went to look at it they were playing some scene release of a Tiesto cd. Filenames were a dead giveaway.

Plus depending on where you are it's not always illegal to have backups of your movies, unless there were obvious ones like workprints/screeners etc, but even then they would have to prove that you don't have the legal right to have that file. Or any file, software application, not to mention that in lots of places it's actually not illegal to download copyrighted files.

Techs bill by the hour to fix a specific problem. Its within the realm of good ethics and business practices to take a quick spin for any other potential problems you can offer to fix for your customer, or even a quick peek for child porn. But how far can and should a tech be able to go, from an ethical and a legal perspective?

And how much extra should the customer expect to pay for the tech playing 'big brother?' After all, someone has to pay for his time.

The guy with the child porn was obviously very very sick. He probably got to the point where he would get pleasure in someone else viewing these foul images and decided that taking it to a computer tech at an Apple Store would be an easy way to fulfill his fantasy.

Shadrack said,
The guy with the child porn was obviously very very sick. He probably got to the point where he would get pleasure in someone else viewing these foul images and decided that taking it to a computer tech at an Apple Store would be an easy way to fulfill his fantasy.


yeah I think thats exactly what he was trying to do...

That was TUAW that added the "Genius" spin. The original Stanford Advocate article doesn't contain the word genius at all.

I was present for a similar situation at CompUSA when I worked there in 2002, I think. A woman brought her computer to the tech shop, specifically to get her AOL chat logs deleted (from what I was told). The technician got curious and took a peek at what he was deleting and it was logs of chat between her and a minor she was having sex with. He and the manager called the police and found out that she was going to be going to trial soon over the relationship with the minor and they had requested her computer as evidence for said trial. She brought it in to destroy that evidence. I wasn't the one that worked on the computer but I did have the pleasure (yes i enjoyed every minute of it) of telling her that the computer had been turned over to the police. I will never forget her face when I told her that.

Hmm i saw something similar, a service technician finding child pornography on a computer...
I really wonder now, they are dumb i know that but are they so stupid they keep it visible on the desktop or what? right next to the folder "illegal downloads" maybe? seriously? :P

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
© Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:> dir

Volume in drive C has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 98DA-B771

Directory of C:

26/08/2009 02:02 PM .
26/08/2009 02:02 PM ..
25/08/2009 03:53 PM Windows
18/07/2009 02:43 AM Program Files
17/08/2009 01:01 PM Documents and Settings
13/07/2009 05:01 PM Child Porn
0 File(s) 0 bytes
6 Dir(s) 39,298,424,832 bytes free

Ricmacas said,
I hope you're kiding.

I know sarcasm is difficult to convey in written form, but seriously, that was obviously meant as a joke

It is a unknown fact that cats are actually dimension travelling dinosaurs in disguise. They have mastered the form of the rebel tomatoes and have begun talks with a ninja alliance of the planetary defense force of circumscribed turnips.

wots to stop the apple guy puttin the pictures on there himself and then sayin he "found them on there"? just seems a bit weird that the guy walks in sayin it cant open some pictures, surely he wouldve realised the apple guy would open up some pictures to see if its workin?? just seems that the guy is very stupid and sick or was an accident they were on there or the apple guy did it for a laugh

A police investigation would more than likely reveal WHEN the picture was placed there, and the tech would then be charged not only with posession of child porn, but also with distribution.

chemaz101 said,
wots to stop the apple guy puttin the pictures on there himself and then sayin he "found them on there"? just seems a bit weird that the guy walks in sayin it cant open some pictures, surely he wouldve realised the apple guy would open up some pictures to see if its workin?? just seems that the guy is very stupid and sick or was an accident they were on there or the apple guy did it for a laugh

It's called a time stamp on the pictures. If it says it was moved there on the date and time the G5 was handed in... yeah, the guy's getting off the hook.

Can't the time stamp be changed by modifying the computer clock? I know some of my files say they were created on the 1st of Jan, 2003 when my motherboard battery failed.

surrealvortex said,
Can't the time stamp be changed by modifying the computer clock? I know some of my files say they were created on the 1st of Jan, 2003 when my motherboard battery failed.


Not really, shouldn't it still have a "Modified On:...." time stamp?

There are plenty of applications which change the created/modified on dates for files.

It would be extremely easy to do in fact. Especially if you had the files, app, and any batch settings ready to go. In the case of a repair you typically have hours upon hours to do something like this as most people simply drop their machine off and come back later.

It could even be done as the files were being copied over if you used a bit of premeditation.

There's a whole field of computing (that my friend is studying at the moment) called "Computer Forensics".

Did you know, when a file is on your hard drive, it takes way more than 10 overwrites of garbage data to make it unrecoverable. There are people that do this for a living... stores that can access layers of data on the hard drive. They can tell how long a file's been there, how many times it was modified or accessed, and even recover the revisions. That's not even including other means of getting info on files.

If an Apple tech put the pictures there, it would be trivial to find out.

They uh, they can't really tell how long a file has been there, you know. They might be able to tell how many times those sectors have been written to, but that's not exactly time stamped in any special way. The basic created/modified time stamping is easy to trick.

If you copy a file to fresh sectors that have never had anything written to them, and make sure it's stamped a month ago, there's no way to tell that it's only been there for a few hours.

The metadata is there as a basic stamp, as said above computer forensics is very advanced and this isn't something you can fake. The data on there could be viewed by many software tools.

One would think that an Apple Genius would know how to manipulate the time stamps and/or metadata to make it seem that the files were present before the customer brought the computer in for service. I mean, he is a Genius, right?

Joshie said,
They uh, they can't really tell how long a file has been there, you know. They might be able to tell how many times those sectors have been written to, but that's not exactly time stamped in any special way. The basic created/modified time stamping is easy to trick.


i think that the timestamps themselves can also possibly be recovered , even from a file which has been modified a few times... as long as the computer clock was set to the right time when a few of the timestamps were written, its possible to reconstruct what was done with the data on the disk, and the before/after of when the time on the computer clock was changed...

I just have to wonder though, I mean when they say child pornography hell it could have been some pictures of a 17 year old they found, and though by law this is still child pornography, if that was the case it really wouldn't creep me out, actually if she's 17 I wouldn't even have a problem with it.

But if it was the other thing he was caught with, then I'm glad he was stupid and got caught.

Mrs_Angel_D said,
I just have to wonder though, I mean when they say child pornography hell it could have been some pictures of a 17 year old they found, and though by law this is still child pornography, if that was the case it really wouldn't creep me out, actually if she's 17 I wouldn't even have a problem with it.

But if it was the other thing he was caught with, then I'm glad he was stupid and got caught.


Well said Mrs Angel. Child Pornography should be ages 0-16, as they are the ages a person is considered a child phyically. Once they are done with puberty (normally around age 16) they arnt exactly children anymore, and more of a young adult.

The law however is pretty silly when it comes to this, and not only that, some people (say a 18yo guy having nudes of his 17yo girlfriend) is still considered child porn. I dont understand how that works, but well, if he fell into the catagory of 0-16yo pics, then im with you, he totally deserves it.

Mrs_Angel_D said,
I just have to wonder though, I mean when they say child pornography hell it could have been some pictures of a 17 year old they found, and though by law this is still child pornography, if that was the case it really wouldn't creep me out, actually if she's 17 I wouldn't even have a problem with it.

But if it was the other thing he was caught with, then I'm glad he was stupid and got caught.

In my experience the physical differences between a 17 and 18 year olds are negligible, so the technician probably wouldn't think twice about them. If he has had enough concerns to call the police it would be a safe bet that the images were of childen of a much younger age.

The Dark Wanderer said,
In my experience the physical differences between a 17 and 18 year olds are negligible, so the technician probably wouldn't think twice about them. If he has had enough concerns to call the police it would be a safe bet that the images were of childen of a much younger age.

In...your...experience...?

OH SCHNAP

There are links in the article. The Unofficial Apple Weblog link says:

the Genius started examining the files, and allegedly found pictures of naked juvenile girls in suggestive poses

the original newspaper article says:

images of naked 10- to 13-year-old girls in suggestive and explicit poses were found, according to court documents

2 seconds of clicking would have found that it was multiple images, under 13, and in suggestive poses - thus saving an argument about all three.

Haha this guy is either an idiot or he really wants to be in prison.....two guesses why lol! This does raise some concerns though. This proves that people really don't think twice about leaving their sensitive data around the hard drive. Personally, I keep my banking record on my computer to keep them organized in Quicken so I can track my expenses but it makes you wonder what kind of stuff you would find if you go opening up people's documents folder.....I personally do not trust these computers being serviced by a technician sitting by himself in the back room of an apple store. God only knows what he is doing around your hard drive. What I do is create a new GUEST account so the technician cannot access my documents and set it to automatically login to it when the computer boots. That way nobody has access to documents outside that account. Please people, stop encouraging fraud and identity theft and protect your damn data!

There are any number of problems with your suggestion. If you create a guest account for a tech to work on your computer, you're tying their hands. They won't be able to look deep into the system, registry, etc. or make any changes to fix the problem. However if you make them an administrator then they can take ownership of the files or modify permissions to open them.

Regardless of any account and the permissions assigned, the files are accessible offline by taking the drive and plugging into another computer. Then it doesn't matter what level you assign to the temporary tech account.

Bottom line is that encryption and/or storing on external removable media is the only answer.

Tim Dawg said,
I could never in a million years consider an Apple tech a genius. What a joke.

Wow - what a spectacularly sweeping statement.

So you know, immediately, the skillset of EVERY single Genius Bar tech in all the Apple Stores in all the world? Amazing. You can't just make sweeping statements like that - you have no idea just who is working at what stores and what they're capable of!

while obv, good the guy got caught
shouldn't a repair shop have your signed consent to search though your documents etc, esp in the case of just installing a dvd drive, video card, RAM... or something similar?

side note, if you have private documents not meant to be seen, keep it on an external drive, disable indexing and thumbnail creation etc lol, two cents from a personal security standpoint, can never be to careful regardless

artfuldodga said,
side note, if you have private documents not meant to be seen, keep it on an external drive, disable indexing and thumbnail creation etc lol, two cents from a personal security standpoint, can never be to careful regardless

If you have personal documents that you don't want anyone to see, encrypt them. Mac OS X makes this especially easy, as you can make an AES-encrypted disk image (make it a sparse one if you want it to expand over time with your files) and then put a long password on it. The files in there won't be indexed, but unlike just throwing them on an external drive, there's no threat of anyone accidentally opening them up.

As has been pointed above and in the article, the customer complained of problems with image files, the first port of call for any tech job is to try and replicate the problem. Have you ever fixed a computer before?? It would be erroneous to try and replicate the problem by plugging in an external drive and using those images as this immediately removes the potential problem with the HDD.

All I can say is good I hope the sick f*** gets sent down and gets stomped on in prison!!!

cerealfreak said,
As has been pointed above and in the article, the customer complained of problems with image files, the first port of call for any tech job is to try and replicate the problem. Have you ever fixed a computer before?? It would be erroneous to try and replicate the problem by plugging in an external drive and using those images as this immediately removes the potential problem with the HDD.

All I can say is good I hope the sick f*** gets sent down and gets stomped on in prison!!!

that is not necessarily true... As I have actually been through the 22 chapters of the A+ guide to managing and maintaining your PC, and in the scenarios book; and networking at the moment, I believe I can safely say that it is actually up to the technician on which steps they want to take and which order they want to do them in. I myself would not use an external drive or USB drive, until I ruled out malware and viruses as the cause of the problem.
That is true about replicating the problem, and I do agree with the prison part... lol.

It's more than the right to search your computer, most states obligate a tech by law to report child pornography if it is found on a customer's computer or risk being an accessory.

Thing is, given there isn't anything illegal on the computer, why would they be looking through your personal files?

It is more a matter of if they happen to come across something illegal when they are working on the computer, they are obligated to report it. It is NOT license for them to go digging through your personal files if they are unrelated to the problem they are working on.

splur said,
Thing is, given there isn't anything illegal on the computer, why would they be looking through your personal files?

the guy said he was having problems with image files. any decent tech would first find an image file on the ocmputer and look at it to try and replicate the problem. a little more logic would make one assume the child porno was images not necessarily video.

The Supreme Court refused to hear a case where another individual was caught with child pornography after he gave his computer to Circuit City to install a DVD drive.

Was more referring to this one.

splur said,

Was more referring to this one.

Most tech places do a "once over" quick look for any potential issues when a machine comes in for upgrades. This is part of providing good service, since if problems were ignored, the customer might assume the problems were caused by the install. The best course is to simply inform the customer by phone, give an estimate on repairs, and let the customer decide whether or not to fix them, but at least the customer is aware of it.

This makes any "search" of the computer perfectly justified. It's a given that if you take your computer in for repairs or upgrades, your files will be accessed. If you have "sensitive" data, it's your job to make sure that it's secure before entrusting your computer to another person.

cyberdrone2000 said,
Most tech places do a "once over" quick look for any potential issues when a machine comes in for upgrades. This is part of providing good service.

(...)

This makes any "search" of the computer perfectly justified.

Let's be honest, anyone else work in a tech shop here? Anyone else work in a tech shop who *doesn't* search every computer for nekkid or otherwise potentially lulz-worthy photography?

Ridlas said,
I bet the techs kept a copy of the pictures for them selfs.

Strange assumption. As in, most people find child porn valuable/desirable?
You are worrying.

dismuter said,
Strange assumption. As in, most people find child porn valuable/desirable?
You are worrying.

Sounds like a denizen of /b/

The cats of the world are mobilizing. Removing their masters by framing them with child pornography so they can slowly take over the world.

Conjor said,
The cats of the world are mobilizing. Removing their masters by framing them with child pornography so they can slowly take over the world.

This is true.

I for one will not welcome our new cat overlords.