Undercover Quarterly is a collection of articles intended to bring insights to both the public and the legal community about the practices, agendas, and purposes of undercover operations. We will also explore the political, commercial, and law enforcement objectives that guide or misguide them, in hopes that the study of the conduct of law enforcement agents and informants engaged in undercover investigations can bring clarity to the proper and improper applications of such methods.
Aside from the use of undercover operations to make criminal cases, we will also review clandestine practices of digital data gathering and communications collection with physical, electronic and Internet surveillance, since they are often intertwined with undercover operations in profiling and targeting individuals and in the infiltration of targeted groups. Our articles will also explore the relationship between surveillance technologies, forensic science, the law of search and seizure, privacy concerns, relevant legislation, and policy decisions.
Our many years of practical experience in the field has been devoted to the criminal defense of persons targeted and ultimately indicted as a result of undercover operations. Our analytical discipline in such cases has developed in the course of reviewing thousands of hours of undercover recordings and electronic surveillance. The first priority has always been objective research into the methods and language behaviors of the agents and informants revealed on law enforcement recordings as well as the words and actions of their targets. We are lifetime students of undercover operations, undercover techniques of incrimination, and clandestine agents’ methods and coordination.
The general public, the media, and our elected officials assume too much and think too little about the consequences of undercover practices and our vulnerability to their abuse. We do not appreciate the risks to our democracy that flow from over reliance on secret police and their informants engaging in covert roles inside our government, criminal justice, business enterprises, our places of worship, and legitimate political interest groups. We welcome our readers to join in this dialogue, either through the submission of articles or through their comments.
Sam Guiberson, Editor & Contributor, Undercover Quarterly