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Indiana Man Gets 8 Months For Teaching How To Beat Polygraph Tests

timothy posted about a year ago | from the preserving-layers-of-lies dept.

Censorship 356

A week ago, we posted news that federal prosecutors were seeking jail time for Chad Dixon, an Indiana man who made money teaching others how to pass polygraph examinations. Now, reader Frosty Piss writes that Dixon "was sentenced Friday to eight months in prison. Prosecutors described Chad Dixon as a 'master of deceit.' Prosecutors, who had asked for almost two years in prison, said Dixon crossed the line between free speech protected under the First Amendment and criminal conduct when he told some clients to conceal what he taught them while undergoing government polygraphs. Although Dixon appears to be the first charged publicly, others offering similar instruction say they fear they might be next. 'I've been worried about that, and the more this comes about, the more worried I am,' said Doug Williams, a former police polygraphist in Oklahoma who claims to be able to teach people to beat what he now considers a 'scam' test."

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Hell hath no fury .. (4, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#44785353)

... like the government scorned when one shows that their "system" is a house of cards.

Yeah, lets shoot the messenger and ignore the message. That will "solve" the problem. Oh wait....

AMERIKAN GULAG! (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#44785377)

Welcome to Thoughtcrime!

Re:AMERIKAN GULAG! (1, Insightful)

kinarduk (734762) | about a year ago | (#44785641)

doubleplusgood

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44785457)

Except that the prosecution was based on his helping people to not just beat the polygraph, but to lie to government agencies in order to get jobs. In other words simple fraud.

proving parent right... (5, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#44785571)

talk about 'thoughtcrime'...

his helping people to not just beat the polygraph, but to lie to government agencies

actually it was a **sting operation** and they got him on a very narrow interpretation of the law...

see, you can't teach how to 'pass' or 'fail' a test that is completely inaccurate!!!

according to TFA he teaches facts about the polygraph, and I'd imagine has one he hooks people up to one of his own...no results guaranteed

'passing' the polygraph isn't about 'guilt' or 'innocence' again I must state

The got him on audio tape doing his typical program...no 'extra help'....they way they got him was they **volunteered that they had something to hide** from the gov't...he just continued with his lesson.

He probably just disregarded this info they disclosed b/c...as I've said...the *actual* truth about a question has noting to do with whether you pass or fail!

This conviction is bullshit, IMHO...maybe they technically 'got him' but it's not justice in any sense...and he definitely did NOT help anyone lie to the government!

Re:proving parent right... (4, Insightful)

Thantik (1207112) | about a year ago | (#44785677)

The same thing goes for smoke shops. Go in there and mention pot/weed/etc in any shape, fashion or form, and they'll kick you out right on the spot because the feds have pulled this trick on them quite often. His mistake was in not immediately stopping and ejecting the guy from his lessons.

Re:proving parent right... (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#44785795)

The same thing goes for smoke shops.

For all your gift and lifestyle accessory needs.

Re:proving parent right... (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44785875)

The same thing goes for smoke shops. Go in there and mention pot/weed/etc in any shape, fashion or form, and they'll kick you out right on the spot because the feds have pulled this trick on them quite often. His mistake was in not immediately stopping and ejecting the guy from his lessons.

Well, yeah, except that's not enough these days. Consider the guy that installed car 'hides' (basically hidden compartments) in California. He started with car audio installs, but found installing hides was more lucrative and required the same skills and tools. There weren't any laws specifically making this illegal, but people often used them for illegal activities, particularly smuggling drugs. He would turn people away if he had evidence they were using them for this purpose, but the DEA still caught wind of a high-end car installer, then approached him and put him under surveillance. Again, not because they had proof he was doing anything illegal, but because he was enabling others to do illegal things... they continually asked him to allow them to install surveillance cameras, etc., which he refused (As is his fourth amendment right). After a bit of back and fourth, the DEA decided he was obstructing and colluding with these drug dealers, and put him in jail for twenty years.

There was never any indication he ever serviced a vehicle where anyone had admitted it was used for drugs or illegal activities. The DEA just wanted him gone because he was enabling others to do so. So knowledge that what you're teaching or providing service for isn't proof against the government throwing you in jail.

Let's be clear: If the government wants you, they're gonna get you. The laws aren't there to uphold social norms, they're there to club you over the head and drag you off in a way that seems justifiable to the unwashed masses, should the authorities so choose to do so. You can't simply say "Oh well, if you do this, this, and this, they can't get you!" ... Wrong.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (5, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#44785591)

If simple fraud is against the law, then why aren't we prosecuting the fraudsters administering the tests? They are using a pseudoscientific test that will only weed out the really stupid "bad guys" and will keep out a number of qualified individuals. AFAIK, he only taught them how to fool a lie detector, and to lie about knowing how to fool a lie detector, because if you admit that, you are instantly out of the running.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44785649)

In the UK the judiciary tends to resist people arguing that certain forms of evidence are flawed because it opens up the possibility that many other cases were decided incorrectly. Maybe the same thing is at work in the US.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785923)

In the UK the judiciary tends to resist people arguing that certain forms of evidence are flawed because it opens up the possibility that many other cases were decided incorrectly. Maybe the same thing is at work in the US.

For real. See this paper at Cornell law about the FBI's reaction to proposals that their claims of DNA identification accuracy be empirically verified: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/research/JLPP/upload/kaye.pdf [cornell.edu]

I recall a similar response when a different researcher made unauthorized use of their access to the FBI fingerprint database to do a similar empirical check of print uniqueness claims, but can't find the article quickly.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#44785655)

There are perfectly legal channels to do what you want to do. He was intentionally avoiding those channels in exchange for teaching people to do something (perfectly fine imo) including lie on government job interviews (not fine, for anyone or any job really)

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44785815)

If simple fraud is against the law, then why aren't we prosecuting the fraudsters administering the tests?

Well, because it isn't fraud. Fraud is intentional deception, not simply being ineffective or incompetent. If those things were crimes, everyone would be in jail. Now, in this case, the accuracy rates vary from 80-98% by most accounts, with much of the variance down to the competence of the tester. This is still too low for it to be used in say, criminal trials. But many government officials as I said earlier care more about detection than false positive... they're saying as long as you get the needle in the haystack, it's a success... even though you're doing it by burning the haystack. So no, this is not fraudulent... it's merely not scientifically rigorous.

AFAIK, he only taught them how to fool a lie detector, and to lie about knowing how to fool a lie detector, because if you admit that, you are instantly out of the running.

Well, as I mentioned earlier -- the consequences of failing a polygraph can be a career-ending event, and the false positive rate is quite high, even against untrained individuals. With the cost of such an event being so high, and the odds of it happening being non-negligible, such training has obvious economic benefits. There is no need for someone to be a "bad guy" to be able to justify it. In this case, lying is in your best interests, regardless of if you're a terrorist or not -- if you are a terrorist, it's in your best interest to lie for obvious reasons. If you aren't, it's in your best interest because you don't want all that training, knowledge, and years of experience fighting the terrorists to get flushed because of a statistical anomaly.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (2)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#44785681)

The people that used his advice and teachings committed fraud. Dixon himself didn't go to any great lengths to hide what he was doing, that I am aware. Yes, there is a difference.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785771)

doesn't matter, freedom of speech

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#44785809)

Conspiracy I woudl have said as well

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44785929)

And? He was not the one lying to get the job. Full stop.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44785647)

... like the government scorned when one shows that their "system" is a house of cards.

It isn't a house of cards, it's just not a highly reliable method. Look at it this way... Let's take a series of pass/fail tests, each with a different detection probability. And let's say that the odds of them catching you in round 1 are 65%, then 84%, then 70%. Is the cumulative effect of this higher than 84%? Yes. Each layer adds a little bit, but each layer also has diminishing returns. This is how government looks at security with regards to, say airport scanners, or terrorist watch lists, or polygraph testing. They know that the individual methods by themselves are shit. They're just hoping that with enough layers, enough randomized checks, and everything else, that the final result will be a high detection rate.

This isn't without its drawbacks. As someone who studies statistics can tell you, a test needs to be about 99.9% accurate before the false positive rate is low enough that your system can have any confidence in its catches. The government doesn't care about confidence though -- it's about fear and perception. If they charge a thousand people with terrorism to catch the one guy who is a terrorist, that's a win in their book. They only care about the detection rate; Not the false positive.

That doesn't make it a 'house of cards' though. If all you care about is detection rate, the government's doing a passably sortof okay job... but if you care about the false positive rate, your opinion is going to be, er, considerably lower. Actually, several miles into the ground low. Understanding how the government thinks is the first step towards fixing the problem; Which I think anyone who's looked at the situation will say... it's reducing false positives.

As far as the logic of imprisoning someone who's explaining that one of the tactics in their overall strategy can be easily beaten... I've generally been of the opinion that if you didn't have access to classified materials, and discovered something that threatens national security, merely discussing it should be first amendment protected -- afterall, if you did it, so can the nebulous and undefined enemies of your country. And isn't part of a citizen's job to participate in creating a more effective government? How else can this be accomplished than by a willingness and ability to discuss shortcomings?

The polygraph may be used for national security reasons, but so are hammers, staplers, and cars... that doesn't mean we can arrest and imprison people who use or criticize them either. It's just a tool... and if the tool is as ineffective as this guy suggests, it should stop being used. And in fact, the false positive rate of polygraphs so far outstrips the detection rate, that you'd be stupid not to learn how to beat one if you're serious about a government position. I mean, why would you risk your career on what essentially amounts to a dousing rod or a psychic reading cards?

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (5, Insightful)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#44785909)

A polygraph is absolutely not a "lie detector" with high false negative and false positive rates. Polygraphy is a pseudo-science and as such has no consistent FNR / FPR when turned to "lie detection."

The only use of the polygraph machine is to elicit a confession by trickery. And that is exactly why the government is so desperate to crush the guys who teach people how to "evade" the fake test: the belief that the "test" can possibly be fooled is enough to break the psychology of the elicited confessions.

Fool proof anti-polygraph method: don't worry about it and lie anyway.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44785939)

A polygraph is absolutely not a "lie detector" with high false negative and false positive rates. Polygraphy is a pseudo-science and as such has no consistent FNR / FPR when turned to "lie detection."

That isn't an accurate assessment. Lying does often elicit a physiological reaction, which is what the polygraph is designed to detect. However, anxiety about the question also causes a physiological reaction, and differentiating between someone who's nervous because they're lying, and someone who's nervous for some other reason, is a non-trivial matter.

It's like saying the low oil light on your car is "absolutely not an oil detector". Technically, you're right; It's a pressure sensor. But it's measuring pressure in a system that ordinarily should contain only oil, and if the pressure drops that's usually an indicator that there's not enough oil in the system, thus calling it a "low oil" light is accurate because that's what it is most often detecting.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (5, Insightful)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#44786045)

There's a huge difference between a pressure sensor applied to oil and a polygraph applied to lie detection.

In the first case, calibrated measurements are made in a standard, objectively defined unit by taking advantage of a law of physics. 1 kPa is 1 kPa is 1 kPa.

In the second, a bunch of graphs are written out based on physiological measurements, then "interpreted" by a supposed polygraph "expert." There is no objective standard or unit of "lying," and different experts will come up with different interpretations. Indeed, the US Supreme Court ruled that unlike DNA or fingerprint evidence, polygraph evidence is nothing more than the opinions of the examiners.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44786053)

No, that sensor is reading something known which is pressure, the polygraph does the same but the pseudoscience part is the interpretation. You don't just put oil in if that light comes on, you check the dipstick. With the polygraph you can't do that. Instead they have someone make a very subjective analysis and pretend it is any better than phrenology.

Re:Hell hath no fury .. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785689)

AmiMojo, what do you mean "except...to lie to government agencies...[is] fraud"? Where is that in what American system of law? As I recall, there is case law established, in IRS cases, in regard to lying to the government, establishing that it is not a crime to do so. Why and how should it be a crime to do so, and how does lying/inflating on a job application constitute Fraud? Remember that in the United States you are supposed to be innocent of crime until you commit a crime. This means that you have to defraud before you commit fraud. This means your lying has to do actual damage to your employer to even be wrongdoig. It has to be willful and mallicious to be crime. Lying, teaching how to lie, or even telling to lie does not qualify on either count, since the tellee is responsible for his, or her, own deliberate undertakings and actions.

Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling truth (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44785359)

Am I under arrest?

For experts. Clamp anal sphincter when telling truth, relax when lying.

Re:Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling tr (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#44785395)

I hope you're trolling with that stupid shit. Those tricks are older than dirt and the easiest things to test for. In fact, they warn you not to do those. And yes, I've gotten a poly for the govt.

Re:Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling tr (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44785435)

It helps to have practice. They are warning you because it works.

I've paid for my own poly, just for practice lying with no consequences.

Re:Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling tr (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | about a year ago | (#44785527)

I've paid for my own poly, just for practice lying with no consequences.

What are you, a lawyer or used car salesman?

Re:Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling tr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785671)

Maybe a polygraph machine salesman?

Re:Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling tr (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#44785911)

Perhaps a politician?

Re:Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling tr (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#44785547)

I'm warning you so you don't get your stupid ass arrested. You have sit on a sensitive pad. You so much as fart and it goes off. If you don't believe me, go get a real poly a find out for yourself. But ask yourself, if this trick is so foolproof, why wouldn't they implement such a simple counter measure?

Re:Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling tr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785501)

I think all people should be instructed to tense the anal sphincter when telling the truth if they are under a polygraph test. For those stupid sheepel that think that a polygraph is perfectly okay for them cause they are honest, well they deserve everything that is thrown at them later for being exceptionally stupid. I recall spaceballs the movie and the exceptionally intelligent quote, "evil will always triumph because good is dumb". So you polygraph witchcraft numbnutz, bite me. I have passed them all so far.

Re:Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling tr (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44785475)

However, this is relatively worthless, since all the polygraph comes down to is a meaningless chart interpreted by a biased administrator. They might as well give someone prison time for teaching you how to avoid being abducted by UFOs... or for teaching you how to fool phrenologists.

phooling phrenologists (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#44785637)

all the polygraph comes down to is a meaningless chart interpreted by a biased administrator

indeed...this is purely the end of the matter, as the US courts decided long ago...when I applied to the FBI back in 2000 I was genuinely surprised they were in use again!

I will add that all these sphincter tips are accurate in a sense. Depending on how it is calibrated flexing a muscle in this manner will definitely produce readings in most circumstances.

I honestly don't know how to relate it to the 'pass/fail' paradigm though...ex: if you demonstrate knowledge of how the polygraph works, you can get an automatic 'fail' or 'inconclusive'

Eventually this nonsense won't be justifiable to even the dumbed beurecrat. It gains nothing and costs thousands.

Re:Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling tr (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#44785669)

Nether of those 'tricks' have ever worked unless the examiner wasn't even looking at the machine output ...

I.E. You're an idiot.

Re:Tumbtack in your shoe, pressure when telling tr (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#44785931)

It doesn't matter what you do, the whole rigmarole is just used to elicit confessions.

The only "lie detector" that really works is fMRI.

federal overreach, as usual (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44785361)

This is a federal case again, and it is something the federal government should have no business intervening in. Blame the current administration for not stopping this nonsense.

Re:federal overreach, as usual (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44785409)

they shouldn't be relying on the tests in the first place. but it's a big industry and they got a bunch of guys who are "experts" in performing it and bringing a paycheck home every month... only thing more ridiculous is the french obsession with handwriting analysis.

I guess the guy should have claimed he was working as an attorney for the people he helped?

Re:federal overreach, as usual (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#44785479)

He would have to be an attorney to do that, though. They don't want just anybody getting in on their racket. Even if you can pass the bar, you have to go to one of their schools in most states.

Re:federal overreach, as usual (5, Informative)

grahamwest (30174) | about a year ago | (#44785595)

Because he was charged with advising and helping people lie to the federal government when they told him they were involved in illegal activity (eg. one of them said his brother was a "violent Mexican drug trafficker" for example. He was essentially involved in a conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and that's what they put him in jail for.

Polygraphs are tantamount to phrenology and graphology in my opinion, but that's not what this case was truly about.

Welcome to the USSA (0, Offtopic)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44785363)

Grab as much as you can from the government and wait on the stock bubble burst to make the whole thing come tumbling down. All you really can do now.

Re:Welcome to the USSA (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44785763)

Re your subject line, I always thought the Beatles sounded like they were singing:

Back in the U-S, back in the U-S, back in the U-S-S-Ah

Invisible text in the first amendment (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785371)

Prosecutors, who had asked for almost two years in prison, said Dixon crossed the line between free speech protected under the First Amendment

Where do they come up with this shit?

Re:Invisible text in the first amendment (3, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44785465)

I don't know if it's invisible text, or just classified... There must be two 1st amendments, one for the school children and the other for the courts that basically says, "Ignore all that bullshit and lock 'em up."

Re:Invisible text in the first amendment (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44785485)

If you hang out around Slashdot long enough, you'll find out that there is a whole segment of society who claims that "free speech doesn't mean you can just say whatever you want".

Re:Invisible text in the first amendment (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44785589)

That's basically true. The first amendment protects speech, but you can't say whatever you want (according to the supreme court). The second amendment protects gun rights, but you can't own whatever gun you want. The sixth amendment gives you the right to a speedy trial, but most people give that up because there are punishments if you don't.

In all, the abuses by government are enough to make someone turn libertarian. Make it small enough so that abuses are as limited as possible. Because how can you get rid of the abuses?

Re:Invisible text in the first amendment (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44786037)

You mean normal humans?
You can't yell fire in a crowded theater nor can you sell your tap water with claims it cures cancer and erectile disfunction with just one 8 oz serving.
If you can't understand why those are not protected speech your schooling failed you and it is likely to late to help you now.

Some FA (3, Insightful)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about a year ago | (#44785383)

What was he convicted ON? What charge? Obstruction of justice? Article doesn't sat. Lying itself can't be a crime (else every politician and lawyer would be in jail).

Re:Some FA (0)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about a year ago | (#44785407)

What was he convicted ON? What charge? Obstruction of justice? Article doesn't sat. Lying itself can't be a crime (else every politician and lawyer would be in jail).

Ah, older article did: Dixon, 34, pleaded guilty late last year to charges of obstruction and wire fraud after federal agents targeted him in an undercover sting that was first reported by McClatchy.

Since he pleaded guilty, my sympathy level just went way down.

Re:Some FA (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785447)

And that's why the gov't loves threatening people into pleading guilty.

Re:Some FA (5, Insightful)

buybuydandavis (644487) | about a year ago | (#44785503)

"Plead guilty or we'll charge you with a million counts."

Pleading guilty should never be taken as an admission of guilt, only an admission that you're not powerful enough to stop the government from fucking you.

Re:Some FA (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#44785525)

"Pleading guilty should never be taken as an admission of guilt, only an admission that you're not powerful enough to stop the government from fucking you."

That's what Nolo pleas are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolo_contendere [wikipedia.org]
--
BMO

Re:Some FA (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#44785555)

That's what Nolo Contendere is for, but when an ADA offers you a plea deal, they're going to demand a guilty plea.

Re:Some FA (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#44785603)

Ah, but the DA doesn't offer near as sweet a deal on those. Same goes for an Alford plea. If they did, nobody would EVER go for a guilty plea.

Re:Some FA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785953)

Ah, but the DA doesn't offer near as sweet a deal on those. Same goes for an Alford plea. If they did, nobody would EVER go for a guilty plea.

Oh the DA *always* offers a sweet deal on those ... oh, you meant offers to "real" people not offers to "corporate persons". Well yeah, if you're a regular person then you were bent over from the start.

Re:Some FA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785565)

Your sympathy level went down because you're a moron who doesn't understand how prosecutors operate? Perfect. You've got the exact level of gullibility needed to be a model citizen.

Re:Some FA (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44785777)

What was he convicted ON? What charge? Obstruction of justice? Article doesn't sat. Lying itself can't be a crime (else every politician and lawyer would be in jail).

Ah, older article did: Dixon, 34, pleaded guilty late last year to charges of obstruction and wire fraud after federal agents targeted him in an undercover sting that was first reported by McClatchy.

Since he pleaded guilty, my sympathy level just went way down.

Wire fraud? A reference to the wires of the machine?

At least it wasn't "terrorism".

Re:Some FA (5, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44785441)

“There’s nothing unlawful about maybe 95 percent of the business he conducted,” the judge said. However, O’Grady added that “a sentence of incarceration is absolutely necessary to deter others.”

^^^ Even more worrisome. Or perhaps to be expected?

Re:Some FA (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#44785967)

It doesn't really matter if it deters others. The idea is just to convince people that the polygraph has some validity (or else it couldn't be fooled!) so that they can keep using them to elicit confessions from chumps.

Re:Some FA (2)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#44785459)

Read TFA:

"Dixon, 34, pleaded guilty last year to charges of obstruction and wire fraud after federal agents targeted him in an undercover sting."

Why he got so much time:

O'Grady acknowledged "the gray areas" between the constitutional right to discuss the techniques and the crime of teaching someone to lie while undergoing a government polygraph. "There's nothing unlawful about maybe 95 percent of the business he conducted," the judge said.

However, O'Grady added that "a sentence of incarceration is absolutely necessary to deter others."

--
BMO

Postscript:

Degoobering the quotation marks and apostrophes by having to hit preview all the time is a pain in the ass. Slashdot, we are 13 years and 9 months into the 21'st century. Use Unicode already, dammit.

Re:Some FA (5, Informative)

pongo000 (97357) | about a year ago | (#44786015)

Lying itself can't be a crime

Actually, 18 USC section 1001 [cornell.edu] does, in fact, make lying to a federal official a crime. Feds often use this law to convict people in lieu of having any evidence that a crime was committed. If you're questioned about an alleged crime, and it later turns out that you didn't commit the crime but you earlier statements don't sync up with later statements, there's a good chance you'll see jail time.

This is why you never talk to law enforcement officers [youtube.com] without competent legal representation present. And especially the Feds.

Re:Some FA (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year ago | (#44786043)

I believe it was for propagating fraud. For telling one of his clients to lie, and say that he doesn't know what his cousin (who is supposedly a drug dealer) does if asked. From one of the articles:

They sought a wire fraud charge against Dixon for a “scheme” that helped applicants get jobs by making “false and fraudulent statements.”

So what about Penn and Teller? (5, Informative)

ethicalcannibal (1632871) | about a year ago | (#44785417)

I thought this was kind of common knowledge. Penn and Teller's Bullshit even showed how they beat the polygraph.

Re:So what about Penn and Teller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785489)

To the best of my knowledge, they weren't advising anyone to conceal it.

Re:So what about Penn and Teller? (1)

Raymond Berry (3049713) | about a year ago | (#44785937)

What Penn and Teller were showing was conclusive. The nervousness of governments and private business in continuing to use the device, despite it's obvious weaknesses, shows how difficult it is to keep secrets in the age of the internet. Perhaps a reverse lie detector should be required for politicians. At least if they can answer with lies for everything, we know where they stand.

It's God (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785423)

"Liar! There is no God."
Retard.
Not that it matters, but you can't fool God.

Re:It's God (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44785851)

Not that it matters, but you can't fool God.

This holds true whether you're a devout deist or an atheist.

I suppose pantheists may disagree however.

If you can beat Polygraphs then doesn't that mean (1)

3seas (184403) | about a year ago | (#44785427)

...They can also be used against you to indicate you are lying when telling the truth, enabling deception to be applied against you.
I suspect that's the real exposure here and why the Government would like you to be what they want you to be..... when fabricating false flags.

Re:If you can beat Polygraphs then doesn't that me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785709)

Polygraph test are not accurate, and have no basis in science. One test "expert" will give different results from another. It's all about perceptions of key questions. It is assumed you have taken drugs, you will lie about it, and therefore this response is a base for a false reading. Likewise with look at pr0n and other assumed "probably have done, but won't admit" question.

The way to beat these pseudo science tests is to tighten your anus when being asked a key question. Your response reading will blip, that sets a high "lie" base for everything else.

There's a reason no court allows polygraph "evidence", it's bullshit. Yet the US intelligence agencies still use it for staff selection and train people (their spies), on how to beat them.

The fact that two testers won't come up with the same conclusion when looking at the readouts says all you need to know.

Re:If you can beat Polygraphs then doesn't that me (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#44785721)

You do realize that no court of law considers a polygraph admissible ... right?

If the government doesn't want to hire you, they don't need to frame you on a polygraph.

You need to stop watching so much Law and Order or whatever silly show you got the idea from.

Re:If you can beat Polygraphs then doesn't that me (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#44785985)

No, the polygraph doesn't work at all (US courts don't accept polygraph evidence).

They just set up this big machine and go through the whole ritual in order to trick people into confessing. They have to stamp down on the guys selling ways to "fool" the fake test in order to maintain the illusion that the test works.

By prosecution... (3, Insightful)

jjeffries (17675) | about a year ago | (#44785439)

...aren't the Feds implicitly acknowledging that the polygraph is not an accurate instrument?

Re:By prosecution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785587)

It was proven inaccurate decades ago and is inadmissable as evidence in most courts/cases. They have been used to manufacture far more lies then they have ever "detected".

Re:By prosecution... (1)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year ago | (#44785789)

Even better, his prosecution is a testament to the guy's trade! Great advertisement!

10 polygraph secrets the feds don't want you to know!

Re:By prosecution... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44785957)

...aren't the Feds implicitly acknowledging that the polygraph is not an accurate instrument?

It's kinda like DRM -- both can be intentionally broken and are only really useful when people remain ignorant of how they work.

Re:By prosecution... (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#44785999)

On the one hand, yes. On the other hand, pursuing these guys makes it seem like the test could work if you don't know how to fool it - which is exactly what they want, since the polygraph is only used to elicit confessions from chumps.

Just remember, it's not a lie... if you believe it (1)

tehlinux (896034) | about a year ago | (#44785497)

Is Costanza next?

Covered in my Psyc 101 class (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785515)

My intro level psychology class covered beating the polygraph. It was a class at University of Washington, which gets a good deal of money from the federal government in question here. It was a perfectly good example of applying the principals studied in the class, and included some scientific study of polygraph tests.

Really, it looks like all you need to beat the test is a good fear that it will classify your truth as lies, which is reasonable given the ~50% false positive rate. They can subjectively interpret the results however they want though, so no matter what you do, it can be used as an excuse to refuse people.

Re:Covered in my Psyc 101 class (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785973)

principals != principles

Joke laws (4, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44785533)

You are part of the cattle (and get years or decades of jail for things that are crimes, affects noone or make your rights prevail), or you are above the law, getting more money and support if you violate constitution amendments [policymic.com] , get promoted [arstechnica.com] if found that you intentionally lied to the congress [slate.com] , or get a small fine if is found that you you knowingly launder money for terrorist and drug cartels [rollingstone.com] .

There are countries where law and justice seem to be antonyms.

"The Wire" season 5 opening scene (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785557)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ5aIvjNgao

"The machine is never wrong, son."

There are ways to do this and get away with it.. (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | about a year ago | (#44785633)

It just goes to show that if you want to do something questionable, you really need to either run for office, or work for the government.

Criminal conduct my ass. (3, Informative)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#44785645)

I still say this falls under freedom of speech. This doesn't even fall under the dictionary definition of sedition, which itself is illegal and about as close as the powers that be could make a claim for in this case. It might be criminal conduct to use the techniques, but last I checked the Anarchist Cookbook is still legal to own and read. For those remaining who know and teach these techniques, I can only hope they write guides on this subject and put them on the internet to propagate while a helpless government looks on. It's funny, techniques for messing up polygraph tests have never been too big a deal until now and some aren't exactly obscure. I have seen crime dramas where valid polygraph interfering techniques are discussed and depicted.

By the way, did I mention that polygraph tests are all around bullshit pseudo science to begin with? But that subject is too big for my lazy fingers to type out. Regardless, they might as well be auditing people while their at it.

Re:Criminal conduct my ass. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#44785733)

The guy was put in jail for telling his clients to LIE ABOUT BEATING THE POLYGRAPH, not for teaching them how to beat it.

Free speech has nothing to do with this, he was telling clients to commit fraud against the government in job interviews. You're more or less an idiot if you think thats okay.

Re:Criminal conduct my ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785835)

Polygraphs are criminal and should be inadmissable anyway. Our system is fuct, and there is no civil way to beat it. Thats all this guy was doing. You can't Lie to beat a game which could be used against you. If they made you play cards for your innocence wouldn't you wish to be trained in the game of playing cards?

This country is so fucked its not even funny. I'm amazed there arent riots, civil war, and complete chaos. People steeling military hardware, and straight up daily assassination of political officials. Its just wild where its at right now. People are sooo numb.

Ex Post Facto... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785667)

Laws against teaching how to beat a polygraph test? None. Yes he pleaded guilty to other, unrelated charges, last year. But that's not what this sentence was about. He was charged with no crimes and under now laws that explicitly stated, or ever explicitly stated or were stated to have barred doing what he did. Put in jail anyway? Because "you are a terrorist." We have always been at war with Eurasia. You are literally an "enemy of the state" so long as anyone believes you are.

What was he ACTUALLY convicted of? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44785679)

Indiana Man Gets 8 Months For Teaching How To Beat Polygraph Tests

Was he really? Or was he actually jailed for obstruction and wire fraud, as the linked article implies? It says that's what he plead guilty to last year, but isn't explicit.

In other news, Dorothy arrested by MI-5 (4, Insightful)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about a year ago | (#44785685)

The Great and Powerful Oz has recently ordered the arrest of known Wicked Witch acquaintance Dorothy of Kansas. Munchkin Intelligence, Section 5, indicated that Dorothy has been fraternizing with populist rebels and suspected communist sympathizers Scarecrow, Tin-Man, and Cowardly Lion. The Wizards Spokewoman, Glinda, denies as fallacious the claims that Dorothy discovered something compromising about the identity of the All-Powerful Oz that would undermine his depthless authority.

Have they gone nuts?prison? (1)

Behrooz Amoozad (2831361) | about a year ago | (#44785687)

Am I the only one thinking he has just found a whole lot of new student to teach?

what missing here.. (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about a year ago | (#44785703)

...is that the government not only knows how to really detect lies (using "brain state" fMRI scanning), but also DOES NOT want this technology to become widely adopted because they are afriad that the technology will one day be used against *them*...

so, as is so typical with the legal system, this guy is rotting in a jail smelling farts for something that's just total nonsense.

http://www.lacontelab.org/papers/real-time-fmri-using-brain-state-classification.pdf [lacontelab.org]

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.01/lying.html [wired.com]

mmm (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#44785717)

You would think they would wish to learn what he teaches them? to better perfect their system?

Nobody goes to PISON for 8 months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785719)

That'd be jail. Ain't worth it for less than a year, and that's why you stay in jail.

Maybe someone can enlighten me (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | about a year ago | (#44785729)

As to how a polygraph test ever works on an intelligent person:

Q: Is your name Edward Jones? A: (Thinks "calibration question: no bother") Yes.

Q: Have you ever lied to a police officer? A: (Thinks: "Calibration question: no real worries" (Yes or No - doesn't matter. Not much stress)

Q: Were you present at this place at this time. A: (Thinks: Holy shit - this is the murder scene - this is the all or nothing question for rest of my life!!!!!!!!!!) "Uh No" (Enormous stress levels - whether did the crime or completely innocent)

So I just don't get it - how can they distinguish between stress caused by knowing that a given question has a high likelihood of ruining the rest of your life - even if innocent, and the stress of worrying that your lie will be seen through.

From the summary (1)

x181 (2677887) | about a year ago | (#44785781)

"Dixon crossed the line between free speech protected under the First Amendment and criminal conduct when he told some clients to conceal what he taught them while undergoing government polygraphs."
Assuming the summary is accurate, he crossed the line when he instructed them to lie. There is a big difference between teaching people how to circumvent a polygraph test and overtly instructing them to lie.

could it be something he wrote? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#44785807)

say it ain't so.

8 months for hero while Obama walks free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785847)

Shameful country the USA

What about the pupils? (1)

mschaffer (97223) | about a year ago | (#44785877)

What about the seven federal law-enforcement applicants and two government contractors with security clearances that Dixon trained? What about the two undercover agents that can no longer be trusted, now that they know the secrets of how to bypass polygraph tests (the can no longer be trusted). What are their fates?

Not allowed as evidence? (1)

Moppusan (2837753) | about a year ago | (#44785879)

I always thought polygraph results weren't allowed as evidence, thus making their fake results even more useless. Am I missing something here? I refuse to RTFA, Slashdot posters are way more interesting. Thank you in advance for any amusement.

Anyone know what law he broke? (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#44785885)

and what the charge was?

This Is One That Needs Competent Appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44785941)

First, lying is not in itself even a civilly wrong act. Something that is wrongful or damaging must result, and the result must be "a direct and proximate result" of the lying alleged the cause. Were this not the case every writer of crime fiction who cooks up a cool plot, or describes bridging a burglar alarm would be guilty of both lying (to a prosecutor or agent whe read his story and filed charges, if he was not able to prove his story autobiographical) and teaching illegal techniques, to any reader.
Second, lying to a government agent is not lying to a superior person, who may have superior authority, it is lying to a public servant, who has no intrinsic authority, and so no right to expect anything from any of his public masters.
Third, since the government, itself, recognizes polygraph accuracy a fairytale, the prosecution was demanding a fairytale be recognized as though factual. Believing fairytales segues directly into religion, since every religious belief is another's, who believes differently, fairytale.
The prosecutor in the case made himself an ass to open his prosecution, and the judge, not judging the case against the law (he only judged the allegations, if the alleged teaching did or did not occur), showed himself incompetent to judge cases involving law.
And, fourth, one of the lies told by a government agent posing as a student for the government's 'sting' was that his brother was a drug-dealer. The teacher, the agents testified and the prosecutor alleged for evidence of crime, advised the pseudo-student to withhold that information. Is it possible that with a Constitution that specifically prohibits 'corruption of blood' the agents and the prosecutor (and apparently alsot the judge) were ignorant of that component of United States law? In the United States a brother's criminal activity is specifically prohibited being a taint. Federal agents and prosecutors and a judge who are ignorant of this? The suggestion those trained professionals did not know such a basic element of law is so unlikely the apparent pretense of blissful ignorance by all three provides grounds to allege willful and malicious disregard for "the clear statement of the law", and conspiracy to put the pretense over, to defraud a defendant of his rightful protection of the law.

If I'm asked to take a lie detector test... (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year ago | (#44786047)

My response will be "Sorry, I'm not interested in Scientology."

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