A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Alcohol you later” (3/20)
“Our town is so small we don’t have a town drunk, so we all take turns” (3/20)
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Texalina (Texas + Carolina) barbecue (3/19)
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Entry from March 09, 2018
Gov’t Squad (Geek Squad nickname)

Best Buy is an electronics store, and its Geek Squad repairs some of those electronics. In 2017 and 2018, it was discovered that the Geek Squad works with the FBI to examine the contents of a computer that a customer gives to it. An Electronic Frontier Foundation story on May 31, 2017, and another Electronic Frontier Foundation story on March 6, 2018, showed an illustration of the “Gov’t Squad.”


Wikipedia: Geek Squad
Geek Squad is a subsidiary of American multinational consumer electronics corporation Best Buy, headquartered in Richfield, Minnesota. The subsidiary was originally an independent company founded by “Chief Inspector” Robert Stephens on June 16, 1994, and offers various computer-related services and accessories for residential and commercial clients. In 2002, they merged with Best Buy, retaining Stephens as the primary corporate leadership for the subsidiary. The Geek Squad provides services in-store, on-site, and over the Internet via remote access, and also provides 24-hour telephone and emergency on-site support. Geek Squad no longer works solely on computer-related devices. It now diagnoses issues in and repairs all consumer electronics, as well as appliances, continually expanding its services to keep pace with ever-changing technology.

Electronic Frontier Foundation
EFF Sues Justice Department to Shed Light On FBI’s Use of Best Buy Informants
PRESS RELEASE MAY 31, 2017
("Gov’t Squad” illustration is shown.—ed.)
Washington, D.C.—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department to obtain records about the FBI’s training and use of Best Buy Geek Squad employees to conduct warrantless searches of customers’ computers.

The records request aims to shed light on how the FBI co-opts Best Buy repair technicians in criminal investigations, and whether the computer searches they conducted were in effect government searches. The U.S. Constitution generally requires federal agents, or those acting on their behalf, to first obtain a warrant before searching someone’s computer. If the Best Buy informants were acting as government agents, the warrantless computer searches they conducted would be illegal.

Twitter
Liberationtech
@Liberationtech
Gov’t Squad? @EFF Sues @TheJusticeDept to Shed Light On @FBI’s Use of @BestBuy Informants
6:00 AM - 2 Jun 2017

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Geek Squad’s Relationship with FBI Is Cozier Than We Thought
BY AARON MACKEY MARCH 6, 2018
("Gov’t Squad” illustration is shown.—ed.)
Update: A Best Buy spokesperson confirmed to reporters that at least four Geek Squad employees received payments from the FBI.

After the prosecution of a California doctor revealed the FBI’s ties to a Best Buy Geek Squad computer repair facility in Kentucky, new documents released to EFF show that the relationship goes back years. The records also confirm that the FBI has paid Geek Squad employees as informants.

Twitter
Andrea Peterson
@kansasalps
I’m 100% about the “Gov’t Squad” artwork accompanying this @EFF scoop about the cozy relationship between the FBI and Geek Squad
8:21 AM - 7 Mar 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Friday, March 09, 2018 • Permalink