The United Kingdom's security minister, Ben Wallace, really gets Lord Varys from Game of Thrones, you know? The Spider had it going on, man. He was hip and, also, with it. That imaginary man who had his love pump lopped off knew from HUMINT, apparently.
From The Telegraph:
Ben Wallace says there is "increasing scope" to recruit "juvenile" undercover agents because of the growing numbers of children involved in serious crime both as perpetrators and victims.
Records show the children – most aged 17 – have already been used as "covert human intelligence sources" (CHIS) by police in the past three years to provide information on murder, gang violence, drug dealing and the use of weapons.
The evidence emerged in a legal challenge in the High Court by campaign group Just for Kids Law who maintain there are a lack of safeguards to protect the children from potential physical and emotional harm. They claim the failings are a breach of the children's human rights.
Little Birds! Wallace's bullshit is currently before the courts in England as the Home Office is pushing to raise the current amount of time that folks under the age of 18 can work as an undercover informant from one month to four.
With no guaranteed protections against the type of psychological or physical trauma that they could potentially endure, even if they're not caught snooping, I can't think of anything less scrupulous than to enlist a child to keep tabs the sort of individuals that governments at the local or state level count among their enemies.
Image via Flickr, courtesy of Tom Woodward