FBI Used Photos Of Female Office Staff As Bait In Sex Trafficking Sting
According to a document from the Office of the Inspector General, an anonymous FBI agent used pictures of female staffers in undercover sex-trafficking operations without their written agreement or supervisor clearance.
FBI Staffers help aid Special Agents in counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and surveillance investigations, helping implement technological and on-the-ground activities from a computer and data monitoring to observation and communications.
The I.G. Michael Horowitz's office informed the FBI they were worried that a practice "largely unsupervised" would put the women, who did not train to operate as undercover agents, at risk of becoming victims, as stated in the memo and reported by USA Today. According to Reuters, the female staffers shown in the photographs were said to be "minor children or sex workers," although the agent said that he blurred their faces.
"The [agent] did not inform the support staff employees' supervisors that the employees were involved in [undercover] operations," says the memo, "and the [agent] advised the support staff employees who provided photographs to not tell anyone, including their supervisors."
The OIG "encouraged" the FBI to create rules for using pictures of undercover agents who aren't on the government's list of certified undercover personnel. ACCORDING TO REUTERS, the FBI said it would "review existing policy and assess which policies require change."