Monday, November 22, 2010

The use of Human Intelligence Sources

Just like Mulder's "Deep Throat", I too have my inside sources that provide me with much-needed inside information at times. Information that technically may be illegal to access without proper authority.

Authority that, naturally, I lack.

Now, if it's perfectly legal acceptable for states to cultivate covert HUMINT sources, really, how can I be punished for doing likewise, albeit in a private capacity?

The height of hypocrisy, anyone?

Take Mr Black (not his real name) for example. A well-placed governmental employee who, from time to time, may provide pertinent information on subjects of interest. At the risk of his job, I might add.

Nothing sordid, like blank manila envelopes passed under the stall walls in a public toilet, this is the 21st century after all. Although, truth be told, I'd be completely keen on dead drops and brush passes.

Recently some information provided by Mr Black was instrumental in closing one case. However, this information had to be 'washed' several times in order to be presented in such a way where the source could not be identified in any way, shape, or form. After all, once I pass on a report to a Client, I have no idea where that information will end up next; who they may pass it on to.

I'm certainly not going to jeapordise my sources.

I like to think of this arrangement as a back-channel method of information sharing and it does go both ways. Sometimes I may possess information of interest to other parties, the price to pay for continued support. Or sometimes I may do a favour for my sources...

Like Mr Black.

Seems he had a girlfriend from abroad who he may have helped (in a totally above-board way) obtain a work permit. However, she may have withheld some pertinent facts from him regarding her previous work history - or at least just the part about her being a prostitute - and now that the relationship has soured, has disappeared into the night. Presumably back to practice her old profession which, while not illegal here, is against her visa stipulations.

So I'm trying to trace her current whereabouts as a return favour. Of course, the problem is that she isn't exactly making it easy for me - none of the usual tracing methods have come up with any information at all. This really isn't all that unexpected though, people in certain demographics are quite adept at keeping a low profile.

However, in the interests of reciprocity, I continue to try.

That's just the kind of guy I am.

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