“Danger, subterfuge, adrenaline.” As more law-enforcement agencies use undercover operatives, NPR takes a look at what it’s like to take on a false identity professionally. A new report says the FBI has made major improvements since Sept. 11, but still needs to boost its ability to collect intelligence. The New York Times has reported that some 40 federal agencies use undercover agents in some capacity.
This kind of work is glamorized in TV and movies. Behind many success stories are agents who have risked their lives living as someone they aren’t. NPR asks what kind of people are drawn to undercover work, what effect the work can have on your psyche, and whether men and women approach this work in the same way?”