When I was a kid, my parents got divorced when I was about six years old so I would spend a great deal of time at my dad’s on the weekend and things like that.

When I got a little older, maybe about eleven or so, my mom who by that point was in a full-blown hatefest with my dad asked me to start telling her when I would come back home to start reporting on certain things. Like if he had a new girlfriend or anything out of the ordinary that was going on.

There never was, my dad was pretty straight on like that. It was usually McDonald’s and monster movies and finishing my homework. He never did anything out of sorts and it seemed like such a weird thing for my mom to ask me to spy on my mom. Kinda makes me wonder how I would react if the government asked me to spy on my dad.

The Boris Johnson administration’s efforts to pass legislation that will allow the state to recruit children to spy on their parents and even break the law while doing so has horrified some of the party’s top parliamentarians.

The Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS) Bill will, if passed into law, allow 22 state agencies, including the likes of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and local councils, as well as the intelligence services and police, to recruit children as “covert human intelligence sources” — spies, essentially. Children aged 16 and 17 could even be used to spy on their own parents, and afforded certain protections to break the law while doing so.

“Once you start taking action like this to put spies in people’s homes whatever the purpose, this does have complications. It is very important for Government to recognise that this is not something that should be easily done in a democratic state,” warned Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former Conservative party leader and Cabinet minister, in comments reported by The Telegraph.

“Everyone I have spoken to has been horrified by it when it has been explained to them,” added David Davis, the former Secretary of State for Brexit who famously resigned his seat in Parliament and ran for it again in a by-election to highlight the erosion of civil liberties by the previous Labour government.

“It will allow 16 and 17-year-olds to spy on their parents. It also authorises them to commit crimes as well, so it needs to be extremely tightly controlled and those controls need to be greater than what the Government is proposing,” Davis warned.

The CHIS bill was amended to heavily restrict the use of child spies when it went to the House of Lords for revision, as part of the normal parliamentary process, but it is understood that the government wishes to strip these amendments out when it returns to the House of Commons.

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