11/15/2014

Big increase in Federal undercover operations over recent years: Agents being used by at least 40 different agencies

From the NY Times:
The federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records and interviews show. . . . .
At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders worldwide, by posing as tax preparers or accountants or drug dealers or yacht buyers, court records show. . . .
“Done right, undercover work can be a very effective law enforcement method, but it carries serious risks and should only be undertaken with proper training, supervision and oversight,” said Michael German, a former F.B.I. undercover agent who is a fellow at New York University’s law school. “Ultimately it is government deceitfulness and participation in criminal activity, which is only justifiable when it is used to resolve the most serious crimes.” . . .
But many operations are not linked to terrorism. . . . 

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