News Datacide 17, Pt.2: Agents Provocateurs

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After many years of legal battles, Helen Steel continued to appeal to force the UK Metropolitan police to publicly disclose that John Dines was an undercover officer who pretended to be another person, faked a relationship, and sexually manipulated her in order to surveil her and her environmental justice comrades. While Steel and seven other women who sued have received apologies and compensation from the police for the abuses they suffered, it was only in December 2016 that Undercover Police Inquiry finally officially named John Dines. Furthermore, Mark Jenner has still not been confirmed as the undercover officer who deceived ‘Alison’ into a five-year relationship because of the Met’s neither confirm nor deny (NCND) policy.

According to the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, still unconfirmed by the police are the majority of publicly exposed undercover officers (23 as of August 2017), as well as 144 unknown and unnamed undercover officers. The inquiry has found that over 1,000 political groups since 1968 were subject to surveillance by undercover police officers, although those groups and people have not been named.

The Intercept created a database and accompanying analysis of 810 prosecuted cases of ‘international terrorism’ in the US. Thirty-seven percent of those cases were FBI sting operations in which 268 involved informants and 32 did not. Thirty two of the 268 were cooperators, and 22% of them became cooperating witnesses or informants after having been caught up in other FBI terrorism stings.

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