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British Activists Protest Sexual Exploitation By Undercover Police

British Activists Protest Sexual Exploitation By Undercover Police

After the revelation that an undercover policeman had sexual relations with several women during the seven years that he spent undercover, infiltrating an activist group, female activists are demanding information from Scotland Yard, so that they can determine whether they were sexually exploited by a British spy.  Although, as one would expect, sleeping with activists during these investigations was prohibited, a former agent said that this kind of behavior was not just tolerated, it was a deliberate tactic.

The agent explained that sex was used as a tool to blend in, and also used to gather intelligence.  And while falling in love was viewed as unprofessional, having sex with a large number of activists was seen as “part of the job.”

“Everybody knew it was a very promiscuous lifestyle,” said the former agent. “You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups. Otherwise you’ll stand out straightaway.”

The women in these groups quite understandably want to know whether they were one of the women who was used to gain intelligence, in addition to their righteous anger at being potentially exploited. 

One environmental activist explained, “There may be dozens of other women who might be affected by this, who have [unknowingly] had relationships with other undercover officers. It is unacceptable. A picture is starting to emerge of state-endorsed sexual manipulation.”

The way that the British government deals with operations to monitor climate change activists has already been criticized, and this just adds more fuel to the fire.  Although it’s unclear whether this kind of sexual activity can be considered sexual assault, it’s certainly unethical, unprofessional, and a serious form of exploitation, and should be censured by the British government.  The real question is whether the police should release the names of the officers who were undercover in these groups.  What do you think?

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Photo from Flickr, via Everydaystockphoto.com.

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43 comments

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3:16AM PST on Jan 31, 2011

I want names. So rape, prostitution, intel, etc are legal if you're "official".

6:59AM PST on Jan 30, 2011

So that's where are taxes go!

9:32AM PST on Jan 29, 2011

I think it's worse to beat information out of people...Either way, I think the guy could have pretended to be gay and still get the information he needed.

9:31PM PST on Jan 28, 2011

noted :0

2:03PM PST on Jan 28, 2011

Why is the only focus on women? Don't you realize that female spies and others in undercover work sometimes sleep with men when it suits their purpose?!?

10:31AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

I agree that if the women had just kept their damn legs shut, they wouldn't be having any problems at all right now, but that doesn't change prostitution laws. If the cops were paid to f***, then they need to be arrested. The names should be released, in my opinion, simply for those that are married, because the spouses have the right to know if they've been exposed to potentially fatal STDs due to their spouse's "work".

9:54AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

Womens right to have sex with lots of guys even if they are cops

6:12AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

I think you have the right to know when you are having sex with a prostitute, even if the government is footing the bill.

6:09AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

I thought prostitution was illegal in the UK? These agents were having sex with activists as part of their job. So tax funding was used to pay them for having sex in order to gather information. Government funded sex workers. What will they think of next?

2:45AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

Sexual relations (if not downright rape) are always a double-sided matter. So, this activists have to chide themselves for letting themselves in in a relation with an undercover agent.

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