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Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the nothing-but-the-truth dept.

Government 197

George Maschke writes "Last year, the McClatchy newspaper group reported on a federal criminal investigation into individuals offering instruction on how to pass polygraph tests. The ongoing investigation, dubbed 'Operation Lie Busters,' has serious free speech implications, and one of the two men known to have been targeted is presently serving an 8-month prison term. The other, Doug Williams, himself a former police polygrapher, has this week for the first time gone public with the story of federal agents' February 2013 raid on his office and home (video). Williams, who has not been charged with a crime but remains in legal jeopardy, is selling his story in an e-book. Public interest website AntiPolygraph.org (which I co-founded) has published a synopsis."

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197 comments

First rule of passing a Lie Detector test (5, Funny)

jennatalia (2684459) | about 3 months ago | (#46096967)

Don't talk about passing a lie detector test.

Re:First rule of passing a Lie Detector test (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 3 months ago | (#46097005)

In other words, "Don't ask me no questions and I won't tell you no lies."

Total Obedience is Required ! (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 3 months ago | (#46097051)

"Don't ask me no questions and I won't tell you no lies."

I am afraid to the government of United Police State of America this is no longer enough.

What is going on in the supposedly Western Democracy nowadays is that it is marching towards fascism. From the United States to France to England to many more lapdog countries, fascist tendency of the various governmental entities have arisen.

Used to be that one is innocent until found guilty, but no longer.

These days, we are all guilty, no matter if we have done everything. We are so guilty that they can charge us with _anything_ they like.

In other words, the difference between Russia/China and the Western Democracy is shrinking, and shrinking fast.

But at the very least, China and Russia never pretend to be "democratic".

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (3, Informative)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 months ago | (#46097069)

"People's" Republic of China?

They're way worse than what we've got here. I don't like the current trend but it's a long slide down the slope yet to go.

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (4, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 months ago | (#46097137)

They are improving while other places are going the other way, which is making it difficult to say "as bad as China" even though the crossover point has not yet been reached.

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097541)

Just FYI, from past posts taco is clearly a chinese refugee that obtained US citizenship. So he's more qualified than most to say whether or not this is becoming People's Republic of America or whatever. Possibly even moreso than me as a lifelong US citizen. They're only worse in that there is no shame in what they do, but otherwise we are the worse ones. By building an illusion of "land of the free". But then again at least we have shame in that.

The power that be has no shame ! (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 3 months ago | (#46097907)

They're only worse in that there is no shame in what they do, but otherwise we are the worse ones. By building an illusion of "land of the free". But then again at least we have shame in that.

Tell you a secret ...
 
We, the people, at least _some_ of us, are feeling shameful of the situation our country is marching towards.

However, those who rule us, the ones in the Washington D.C. and _their_,/i> masters, not only do not feel any shame whatsoever, they actually are feeling so damn proud of their so-called accomplishment !

Amongst the hundreds of Senators and Congressmen/women, how many of them actually feel that they have wronged the country, by voting in all these draconian laws, and by allowing the White House (no matter who's the POTUS), the NSA (and all the spooks) to violate the Constitution the way they have ?

When I wrote to my representatives (state and federal) exclaiming my exasperation of what is happening in America and to the Americans, do you know what they told me ?

The same old "We are doing that to fight terrorist" bullshit !

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 3 months ago | (#46098073)

Why the scare quotes around "people's"?

Anyway, I think the comparison with places like China and Russia is less than helpful. In stead, let's compare with the US of, say, three decades ago -- when there were still two superpowers and the US had to at least pretend to be the good guys, to maintain support of its allies and at least some good will on the part of the non-aligned bloc.
 

You've brought up a very interesting point ! (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 3 months ago | (#46098151)

In stead, let's compare with the US of, say, three decades ago -- when there were still two superpowers and the US had to at least pretend to be the good guys, to maintain support of its allies and at least some good will on the part of the non-aligned bloc.

I arrived at USA some thirty-odd years ago. At that time, for me at least, USA was a country where liberty of the citizens were respected.

If what you said is true... that is, USA did all that to gain support from its allies and to portray to the world that USA is the "Good Guy", then what about now ?

Does it mean that USA no longer has to pretend to be that "Good Guy" anymore ? That it can start wantonly violating the liberty of anybody it wants ?

If that turns out to be true, then USA no longer has the authority to criticize _anybody_else_ regarding human rights, regarding liberty, regarding democracy, regarding so many things that USA used to stand for.

Can you comprehend what kind of world we are living in now ?

I ran away from China precisely because they did not (and still do not) respect the liberty of the citizen. If ever USA becomes a place just like China, I do not know where else people can aspire to be, if they were to run away from tyranny !

Re:You've brought up a very interesting point ! (4, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 3 months ago | (#46098193)

Does it mean that USA no longer has to pretend to be that "Good Guy" anymore ? That it can start wantonly violating the liberty of anybody it wants ?

Well, that is sort of what it looks like from where I'm standing.

Bin Laden (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097157)

One of Bin Laden's goals was to turn the US into an oppressive country like the ones in the Arab World,

Even after stating the goal, here we are going that way. It's amazing how easily people can be manipulated.

You're of course assuming... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097663)

That he wasn't working for the 'family business' all along, and that Bush's family hadn't been colluding with bin Laden's in order to bring exactly this about.

With the WTC knocked down 3/5 of the tallest skyscrapers in the world are now Muslim, at least 1 of them was build by bin Laden construction firms, and between 'preferential access to oil' and Halliburton's recent relocation to Dubai, the whole situation begins seeming overly suspect. Nevermind the fact that 9/11 happened just in time to keep Bush from getting impeached (does anybody remember what his approval rating were looking like pre-9/11? Clinton had a high approval rating AFTER lying to congress about getting his dick sucked and spooging all over an intern's dress.)

Combined with the fact that the majority of the terrorists were Saudis and none of them were Iraqi (were any Afghan?), it begs the question of why exactly our targets were chosen as such if not due to conspiracy.

Re:You're of course assuming... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097789)

They were all Saudis and Egyptians. Ironically, from perhaps the best "allies" the US had in the Arab world at the time. Egypt is of course different now.

Re:You're of course assuming... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46098141)

Iraq was in the neocon's crosshairs well before 9/11. See PNAC [wikipedia.org], which published manifestos to the effect that "if only there was some kind of crisis we could exploit to further the American hegemony, by force if need be". Signatories include folks like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Armitage, and so on.

Then 9/11 happened, with no Iraqi connection whatsoever, the manifestos were unpublished and lo and behold, the US administration -- now composed of pretty much the same people -- conned their country and the UN to start (another) illegal war. People were hanged for this kind of thing in the past.

Please notice I am not arguing these people were somehow behind the attack, as some seem to think, or allowed it to happen despite intelligence that something was afoot.

You might also like to read up on Carlyle Group [wikipedia.org] which had a meeting on the morning of 9/11 which included folks like Bush Sr, James Baker, and apparently a member of the Bin Laden clan.

Re:Bin Laden (1)

triclipse (702209) | about 3 months ago | (#46097807)

Especially believing in that fairy tale starring "Osama Bin Laden" ... if you have believed that much then it is probably too late for you anyway.

Re:Bin Laden (2)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 3 months ago | (#46097889)

You do know who Mr. Laden's biggest backer and financier was don't you?
It was the US Gov't. So of course we've "fallen for it".

You may be surprised to know who's the REAL BOSS (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 3 months ago | (#46097917)

Do you know who financed the invasion of Iraq ?

The Saudis.

Yes, our boys and girls who serve in the Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force of the United States of America, went to fight a war in Iraq, because the Saudis are paying for it.

In other words, our military became a mercenary force, at least in the Desert Shied / Desert Storm era.

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 months ago | (#46097183)

I take it youve never been to Russia or China.

I guess my objection to the comparison isnt that we dont have major problems, its that when someone busts out a comparison like that it makes a mockery of the whole discussion. I would rather the real problems be discussed than that we get hysterical to the point that noone wants to hear about it anymore. I would rather, for example, that instead of hordes of people claiming that we're no more free than china, that people instead pressed their representatives for real action regarding NSA overreach.

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (3, Interesting)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 3 months ago | (#46097979)

Well, what about yourself? Have you ever been in Russia, for example? Doesn't seem to be the case, to be honest.

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46098447)

Actually yes, have been to Russia and actually people are more free for certains aspects. Free of speech is a serious problem, mind you, we are way better off. However the extreme inefficency and bureacracy makes it so, that as long as you do not bother a powerful person, you can do whatever you want. Really if you happened to build a nuclear power plant in your appartment nobody would notice/care. Where I live, if I fart too loud, I will be held suspect of dealing with explosives...

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097527)

You've always been able to be charged with anything, doesn't mean you're found guilty. But keep going with the conspiracy.

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (2)

students (763488) | about 3 months ago | (#46097587)

Both China and Russia hold elections. They pretend to a degree.

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097963)

Both China and Russia hold elections. They pretend to a degree.

Let's see ...
 
When was the last time Russia told the world that it is "The Land of the Free" ?
 
When was the last time China berated other countries of "violating the human rights" of its own citizens ?
 
Now, kindly tell us who is the biggest hypocrite of all ?

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097977)

In truth though, we're all guilty of something. I'm guilty of eating the last of the Nutella. That's a crime beyond a crime but i have to live with the guilty conscience because it's not the laws that dictate what we should feel good and bad about, it's our personal moral dogma and for me, that dogma hurts me every time I think of that nutella. But I'm glad on the other hand that it was me and not one of those socialist pigs at the top that ate it.

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 3 months ago | (#46098023)

I'm guilty of eating the last of the Nutella.

And you probably licked the knife, too?

Guilty, I say. Guilty as ****.

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097989)

how is this paranoid bullshit "insightful?"

"marching towards fascism?"

really?

this get marked as +5?

taco cowboy, that fucking moron, is completely ignorant of history. what about the house un american activities committee? the alien and sedition acts? the espionage act of 1917?

every fucking generation thinks that they invented crises and history. yes, these events agianst he lie detector crusaders are important. yes, we should always be vigilant to protect our rights. but no, the usa is not "marching towards fasism" in any sense more meaningful than "I am marching towards china" when i walk eastward to the store.

fuck you, taco cowboy, and fuck the historically clueless goth alarmists who marked you up.

Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (2)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 3 months ago | (#46098203)

The US has like in your comments always had a checkered past when it came towards certain "non-freedom" acts. I think we could agree that all countries have certain tendencies. However, and this is the big however, there were always moments when the Americans stood up and said enough is enough. I am not saying it cannot happen again. What is different this time is that you have an America divided and polarized. Look at voting, that is absolutely insane.

You are either an MSNBC friend and hater of Fox news or vice versa. Fox news spreads the propaganda and calls it the news. Yes yes the "left" is doing this as well. You have movements in the US where and this is really funny in a sad way, that it is legal to shoot somebody and kill them because they "looked" at you the wrong way (I am looking at your Florida). It is acceptable to wave a machine gun around and accumulate rounds and rounds of bullets.

Take a step back remove the American flag, the cheering and so on. What would this be representative of? I will tell you a third world developing country run by a pseudo dictatorship. Americans are not willing to step up and admit this. Sure there are some that say things need to be changed, but they as in America on the whole doesn't want to change. It is always the "other" person who has to change not them. EXCUSE ME the "other" person is you.

Call the hippies lazy, dirty, smelly, etc. BUT they did change America and in many aspects for the better. Where are the Americans willing to stand up now? Oh yeah they are being branded as idiots and lazy slobs and one step away from Nazi-dom because they don't like having a two tier bus system. Again step back remove the constitution, remove the flag and think hard about what the country compares to. I always say if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, its an effen duck.

BTW I am not happy or shadenfreude as I am a foreigner. I am actually quite sad and disappointed for I like America... America the concept is a very nice place...

Re: First rule of passing a Lie Detector test (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097011)

Slashdot is lying, still says 0 comments.
Anyways, sucks for this guy. Penn & Teller already covered polygraphs on Bullshit so he's basically going down for info that's been out for decades.

The Emperor's New Clothes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097203)

Lesson learned: *NEVER* point out that the Emperor is actually stark raving naked.
Or you'll get you head chopped off.

Re:First rule of passing a Lie Detector test (3, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 months ago | (#46098279)

Don't talk about passing a lie detector test.

You jest, but that actually *is* the first rule of passing a lie detector test.

In the 'informal' pre-polygraph chat they'll usually fish for how much you know about polygraphs.

To Quote Ben Franklin... (-1, Redundant)

reiserifick (2616539) | about 3 months ago | (#46097037)

" Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

To Quote Anonymous Coward... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097065)

"Those who would quote Ben Franklin, to seem insightful, need to find some new fucking quotes."

Re:To Quote Anonymous Coward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097131)

Write a wise saying and your name will live forever.
-- Anonymous

Confucious say: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097673)

'Man remember by number of quotes.'

Re:To Quote Anonymous Coward... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097283)

"Those who get their panties in a twist at that Franklin quote need to put on their pajamas and get a refill on their hot chocolate."

Re:To Quote Anonymous Coward... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 months ago | (#46098285)

"Those who would quote Ben Franklin, to seem insightful, need to find some new fucking quotes."

Or at least put in an attribution to show that you know who said it...

Re:To Quote Ben Franklin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097067)

" Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

He actually said, "No one deserves Liberty. All Persons are beotches."

US resources put to wasteful use (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097043)

Between this and then going after virtual currencies, and whatever else, this is a fantastic waste of tax payers money, and complete communist like dictatorship, systematically stripping your rights away.

Lie detectors are unreliable to begin with, so lets just go after someone who has exposed this tech for what it really is, instead of finding another solution or creating another form of detection.

They should go after movie makers, and documentaries makers because they too have shown how you can pass a lie detector, but most are arrogant enough to think those forms of media are complete fantasy, even in an age of internet with vast knowledge, of course it helps to remember the golden rule of the internet don't just 'believe' what you read..

can it detect if who smelt it really delt it? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097049)

cuz i got hella farts right now, son.

Not Your Friend (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097055)

The Government is not your friend; it never was, and it never will be.

The history of governments is the history of people overthrowing them. Get a clue, people.

Hit the gym, delete facebook, and buy bitcoin.

This is why people hate the USA (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097071)

If your own government does this to its own people, we can expect way fucking worst things to happen to us foreigners.

I hope I never have to go to the USA again. Nice people on the east and west coasts, but the ones who control everything are crazy motherfuckers.

Re:This is why people hate the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097135)

The Ones Who Control Everything are not to be trifled with. They are not of this Earth. Beware.

Divided Opinions (5, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | about 3 months ago | (#46097091)

Critics of this federal investigation have claimed that it has the potential to trample free speech, create an atmosphere of fear, and could lead to the wrongful imprisonment of those that the government deems troublemakers.

However, unnamed sources within the government have taken a more positive outlook, stating that this investigation has the potential to trample free speech, create an atmosphere of fear, and could lead to the wrongful imprisonment of those that they deem troublemakers.

Re:Divided Opinions (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097263)

Critics of this federal investigation have claimed that it has the potential to trample free speech, create an atmosphere of fear, and could lead to the wrongful imprisonment of those that the government deems troublemakers. However, unnamed sources within the government have taken a more positive outlook, stating that this investigation has the potential to trample free speech, create an atmosphere of fear, and could lead to the wrongful imprisonment of those that they deem troublemakers.

Government response: "As part of a double-blind experiment, we sent 50 fifth-columnists and 50 diehard supporters of the government to a lie detector test and discovered that every one of them was telling the absolute 100% truth, so we hired them all."

anti-polygraph-instructor-is-bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097097)

as much as I believe that polygraph's are BS that entire site screams snake-oil-salesmen
from the annoying red text screaming BUYNOW to the autoplay video-advert
he basically has no credibility anybody that really gave a fuck would take the time to setup a webpage thats NOT basicly a full-page ad-for his "product"
and the old " I am trying to put my self out of business" schick has been around for ages

The article makes this an intriguing issue (3, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 months ago | (#46097101)

He wasn't just teaching people how to pass a lie detector. He was instructing people (undercover agents) who he knew would be committing all kinds of illegal acts including statutory rape and drug smuggling. That's where you cross a fuzzy line between crime and blissful ignorance. In the same way, if I walk into a pawn shop and buy a cheap TV, it's not a crime. But, if the owner tells me it's cheap because his cousin stole it, then I'm engaging in an illegal transaction..

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 months ago | (#46097161)

But, if the owner tells me it's cheap because his cousin stole it, then I'm engaging in an illegal transaction..

And if he tells you this after you already paid, or after you already loaded it into your car and just need to pay the debt?

"No returns, exchanges, or refunds"

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 months ago | (#46097213)

No, receiving stolen goods is a crime. The act of paying is irrelevant.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097345)

Paying may be enough to trigger receiving stolen property, even if you don't physically posses it.

In the case where you find out after the fact:
1) The entire transaction would be void as the seller did not have the right to sell. Regardless of his policies, he would need to give you your money back. Now, if you are dealing with people who deal in stolen property, this may not be possible or even safe to request.
2) You would not be automatically guilty once you found out it was stolen, provided you took appropriate action, e.g. took the goods to the police within a reasonable time period (after consulting a lawyer first), since even though you knew the goods were stolen at some time when they were in your possession, you did not intend to deprive the owner of the property.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 months ago | (#46097705)

No, receiving stolen goods is a crime. The act of paying is irrelevant.

However, you received them before learning they were stolen. Book 'em danno!

And that's just a simple scenario.

Imagine the pawn shop owner tells you (after you signed the credit card slip, and he loaded the TV in your car), that the television was so cheap, because his brother stole something the shop traded to get the TV, or robbed a bank, and the shop used the money to buy extra televisions -- or - the pawn shop reported "vandalism"; tricked the insurance company into reimbursing them for their entire inventory.

Consider the latter cases, where the shopper has still facilitated a crime, which they were unaware of until after the fact, despite the goods themselves not being stolen goods.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 months ago | (#46097737)

Irrelevant if you keep them and don't report it. The act of buying them has no bearing on the crime.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46098097)

And if he tells you this after you already paid, or after you already loaded it into your car and just need to pay the debt?

That isn't a moral or legal dilemma. The correct procedure is to go to the police and report the crime. You can't keep the TV, it will be kept as evidence.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#46097229)

Ugh... you're missing the plain and simple truth that polygraphs DONT WORK. They are complete horseshit, like Organic food, Chiropractors and astrology. If the FBI declared that only "Leos" could be entrusted with drug cases, and this guy was teaching people how to trick the FBI into thinking they were "Leos" so they could steal the drugs, would he be helping them in any way? No, because astrology is bullshit.

faux objectivity FTW (4, Insightful)

epine (68316) | about 3 months ago | (#46097411)

Ugh... you're missing the plain and simple truth that polygraphs DONT WORK. They are complete horseshit ...

No, you're missing the point.

Imposing the polygraph protocol on the polygraph subject forces the polygraph subject into a highly disadvantaged mode of engagement. If the horseshitness of the polygraph test were to become the subject of public outrage, the powers-that-be would lose a valuable interrogation tactic.

It runs deep. The cloud of uncertainty over being convicted by a fallible machine with no viable recourse or defense adds to the psychological stress of the subject. This effect would be greatly lessened if the damn thing actually worked. Basically the polygraph examiner gets to sit there and decide your fate in an elaborate ritual of faux objectivity.

How could you say that this doesn't work? Faux objectivity practically bats clean-up in the fine-grinding mill of democratic disempowerment.

Do you consent to a polygraph test?

Absolutely, so long as I'm not forced to hang my head and grunt monosyllables.

Are you refusing to take the polygraph test?

No. I'm refusing the invasive, fucked up protocol that you've willingly elaborated around the idiotic, frightening wires. Wire me up, then engage me in normal conversation, eye to eye. Not my fault if your machine has no technical merit once stripped of the demeaning ritual. If that bugs you, work harder. Innovate. Get the captains of industry on the blower. To hear them tell it, they innovate twice a day and thrice on Saturdays. Surely simple eye contact does not exceed your far-reaching dystopian prowess?

Hardly anyone would consent to answering questions within these bizarre strictures without the quasi-religious deference to the cult of the coloured wires. It's such a Milgramesque whitecoat scam, which nevertheless works a treat if your subject complies.

Re:faux objectivity FTW (3, Insightful)

fishybell (516991) | about 3 months ago | (#46097589)

Basically the polygraph examiner gets to sit there and decide your fate in an elaborate ritual of faux objectivity.

So the FBI read the handbook on giving an audit with an e-meter?

Re:faux objectivity FTW (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 3 months ago | (#46098051)

no no no no..

who loses most if faith of the government on the polygraph tests is lost? the guys selling polygraph snake oil, of course. almost all cases they do is for the government for job applicants. it doesn't work for that and simply gives the polygraph guys a) a lot of power about who gets in(bj's galore) and b) gives them a lot of money to spend on booze and hookers.

I'm pretty sure they took a polygraph test saying that they really believe polygraphs work though!

Re:faux objectivity FTW (3, Insightful)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about 3 months ago | (#46098199)

That's not at all how they are used. They are treated as an objective and reliable instrument for revealing deception. They ask you some control questions, ones that they know you will answer truthfully and ones that they assume you will lie about. If your response to the real questions matches the ones that they figured you lied about, then they declare that you are lying, and you don't get whatever job or security clearance you applied for. If there wasn't enough differences in your physiological response between the assumed truth and lie responses to determine which is which, they declare it inconclusive and you don't get the job or security clearance you wanted. Despite the fact that numerous controlled studies have shown that they don't work at all, they are treated as infallible by the investigators. Otherwise squeaky clean applicants are denied police jobs all the time based on polygraph results. Yet somehow police corruption is still rampant.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097647)

Organic food just means food without pesticides, it's not something that can be bullshitted or not.

It either has pesticides on it or it doesn't. That's it.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (1)

Sique (173459) | about 3 months ago | (#46097965)

It's not that easy. Organic food has less pesticides. Pesticides are everywhere, they are in the soil, they are in the ground water. You don't find a spot in the whole U.S. where no pesticides can be detected. Thus there are limits of how much of which pesticide can be in organic food to be still called organic. And different labels require different limits and use different testing methods, so you actually can be bullshitted.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46098441)

No, it means not tampered with in a lab. Botany and cross-breeding/cross-pollination is different from genetic engineering. You can't make a catfish fuck a piece of corn and impregnate the corn.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 months ago | (#46097685)

That is absolutely not the point. He was effectively aiding and abetting guys (undercover agents) who were trying to subvert lie detectors for nefarious means and he was *aware* of it. If there's a door in the bank with a shitty lock and you give someone advice on how to pick it, that doesn't make you any less of a criminal if the door had a good lock.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46098147)

The accuracy of the test is only a secondary consideration. I object to the idea in general, and will continue to object even if they develop one which does really work.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46098337)

> like Organic food
Sigh, organic food doen't *need* to 'work'. Organic food is not about your health, it's about the health of the farm on which it is grown. Now I agree there are a lot of crackpots/quacks in the 'roganic inustry', but we *need* to change the exploitative way of creating our food to make it sustainable in the long run.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46098433)

Except, organic food is not bullshit.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 3 months ago | (#46097309)

I thought only the guy who went to prison took the "were going to use the knowledge to get away with a crime and we're totally not cops trying to bait you" bait.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (4, Funny)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 3 months ago | (#46097311)

" He was instructing people (undercover agents) who he knew would be committing all kinds of illegal acts including statutory rape and drug smuggling."

This raises a bigger question --- if these undercover agents are known to be going out and statutory raping people, why aren't the Feds arresting them?

I am rather disappointed and concerned that these drug smuggling, statutory raping, undercover agents are getting off scot free --- when the Feds should be arresting these undercover scoundrels who are trying to beat these polygraph tests.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097875)

It doesn't matter. Polygraphs are about as scientific as palm readings and horoscopes.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (2)

Sique (173459) | about 3 months ago | (#46098011)

No. Polygraph testing gets you a certain chance of passing (independent of your real intentions), and he just increased the chance of passing (still independent of your real intentions). So the intentions of the people who wanted to be taught passing the polygraph detector shouldn't play any role -- and if it was just so the own career is not spoiled by the results of a completely botched test. And in general: People who want to successfully work undercover have to have the ability to withstand an attempt to blow their cover -- including a completely erratic test like the polygraph detector. So I would call police officers trying to get educated how to keep calm in such a testing situation more fit for the undercover job than the others, which I guess might be somewhat too naive.

Re:The article makes this an intriguing issue (2)

Paul Jakma (2677) | about 3 months ago | (#46098323)

The lie detector test is based on ignorance. Teaching people how to pass it amounts to telling them the scientific truth about the polygraph's efficacy: It has none, so don't worry about it, and don't volunteer information.

If it's a crime to tell the truth about pseudo-scientific quackery, then we're fucked.

Undercover Dude (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097121)

The dude has evidence that Obama uses a polygraph machine with the electrodes attached to his penis to masturbate himself with.

Well, Obama is a stoner from Hawaii and a half-breed after all.

Duh

FUCKING BETA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097127)

FUCK YOU SLASHDOT BETA.

if you know how a polygraph works... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097151)

it only takes about 30 seconds to think up ways to circumvent it, which is why they aren't permissible in court.

Re:if you know how a polygraph works... (4, Interesting)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 3 months ago | (#46097235)

The idea is to create a concept of a "lie detector." Then you tell your suspect, "If you didn't do it, just take a 'lie detector' test. If that comes out clean, then you'll be off the hook. You can go home right away. No need to spend a few more hours sitting here with us going over this stuff over and over and over again."

Plug him into the "lie detector." Ask him some questions. Then have the police come in and say, "The lie detector says you were lying. Why don't you tell us what really happened? We can be here all night until you decide to tell us the truth..."

Re:if you know how a polygraph works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097423)

The idea is to create a concept of a "lie detector." Then you tell your suspect, "If you didn't do it, just take a 'lie detector' test. If that comes out clean, then you'll be off the hook. You can go home right away. No need to spend a few more hours sitting here with us going over this stuff over and over and over again."

Plug him into the "lie detector." Ask him some questions. Then have the police come in and say, "The lie detector says you were lying. Why don't you tell us what really happened? We can be here all night until you decide to tell us the truth..."

You could hook someone up to any dumb contraption like an e-meter and try that ruse.

What a polygraph does and how you use it seem to be over your head.

Re:if you know how a polygraph works... (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 3 months ago | (#46097939)

No, the idea is to sell everyone else on the idea of a "lie detector" and then use everyone ELSE'S belief in its infallibility against the victim.

Re:if you know how a polygraph works... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#46098195)

Alas polygraphs are also used by the likes of the FBI as an actual operational tool. Real operational decisions, including the hiring, firing, and criminal investigation of personnel, have been made on the basis of a machine that demonstrably pumps out garbage.

Re:if you know how a polygraph works... (3, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 3 months ago | (#46097999)

it only takes about 30 seconds to think up ways to circumvent it, which is why they aren't permissible in court.

The reason why they're not permissible in court doesn't have anything to do with ways of circumventing them. It's that they do not work as advertised in the first place.

Show me ... (4, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#46097177)

.... the man and I will find you the crime.

-- Lavrentiy Beria, Stalinâ(TM)s head of the secret police

Presently means 'soon' (1)

sandbagger (654585) | about 3 months ago | (#46097179)

As in it will happen presently.

Grrr.

Re:Presently means 'soon' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097219)

YES!! It doesn't mean at present. And momentarily means for a (brief) moment in time, not "in a moment". Thank you, thank you so much,

Re:Presently means 'soon' (3, Interesting)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 3 months ago | (#46097479)

As in it will happen presently.

Grrr.

Merriam-webster.com states this in usage notes:

Both senses ["without undue delay"] and ["at the present time"] are flourishing in current English, but many commentators have objected to sense 2 ["at the present time"]. Since this sense has been in continuous use since the 15th century, it is not clear why it is objectionable. Perhaps a note in the Oxford English Dictionary (1909) that the sense has been obsolete since the 17th century in literary English is to blame, but the note goes on to observe that the sense is in regular use in most English dialects. The last citation in that dictionary is from a 1901 Leeds newspaper, written in Standard English. Sense 2 is most common in contexts relating to business and politics (the fastest-rising welfare cost is Medicaid, presently paid by the states and cities — William Safire)

The American Heritage Dictionary's note:

Usage Note: An original meaning of presently was "at the present time; currently." That sense is said to have disappeared from the literary language in the 17th century, but it has survived in popular usage and is widely found nowadays in literate speech and writing. Still, there is a lingering prejudice against this use. The sentence General Walters is ... presently the United States Ambassador to the United Nations was acceptable to only 48 percent of the Usage Panel in the 1999 survey.

And Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary:

The meaning “now” of presently dates back to the 15th century; it is currently in standard use in all varieties of speech and writing. The sense “soon” arose gradually during the 16th century. Strangely, it is the older sense “now” that usage guides sometimes object to. The two senses are rarely if ever confused. presently meaning “now” is most often used with the present tense (The professor is presently on sabbatical leave) and presently meaning “soon” often with the future tense (The supervisor will be back presently).

In other words, there exists a small cadre of Grammar Nazis that are presently objecting to the original usage of "presently" for the sake of objecting. Because for an "obsolete" word, it's still getting pretty good mileage.

Re:Presently means 'soon' (2)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 3 months ago | (#46097957)

Pretty much every "rule" of grammar that people get angry over has no factual basis. Starting a sentence with "and" or "but" dates back to the equivalent of a miss manners column, and the "split infinitive" is based on a combination of self-righteousness and total ignorance of the fact that infinitives were one word in latin but already split in english.

Re:Presently means 'soon' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46098161)

It's almost as if the rules of language are formed by the people who produce it.

Passing is easy (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097211)

To pass a lie detector test, you must 'believe' the lie is true. This uses the same form of imagination that actors use to give a performance. For the Human mind, both reality and memories of reality are but an illusion. We have no direct contact to the 'real world'. Our 'senses' are physical mechanisms of our body that are minds cannot directly perceive. An internal 'reality' is created using different types of memory, heavily processed versions of the data provided by our sense systems, and 'thought'.

So, creating false realities through practice is child's play for most people. 'False' or alternate memories are trivially implanted if a person has pre-awareness of the lies they will need to tell. Training the imagination even allows for spontaneous false realities to be created in real-time.

And then you have bio-feedback training, which means learning to consciously adjust breathing rates, heart rate, and sweat response. I recall this kind of thing was popular in the 60s, 70s and early 80s as a method for improving meditation and relaxation. It is not unexpected that when bio-feedback was a technique commonly known by the average sheeple, lie-detectors fell into disrepute, but now the term is probably unknown to most of you, the pseudo-science of lie detection has made a comeback.The 'usefulness' of lie-detectors is EXACTLY the same as the usefulness of those phony bomb detectors (made from novelty golf-ball detectors) that were in the news recently.

Lie detectors are NOT used because they are accurate, but as tools of oppression when security theatre is used as an excuse to target 'enemies' of the State. Team Obama and Team Blair push such disgusting nonsense, so the incredibly evil abusive regimes that the UK and USA support can deploy the same pseudo-scientific equipment in their constant war against democracy activists, and use 'positive' results as an excuse for torture, imprisonment and execution. How many people do you think suffered the most horrifying ill-treatment because of the 'positive' results given by the fake bomb-detectors that MI6 distributed in Tony Blair's various war-zones?

Re:Passing is easy (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097405)

Easy methods to defeat lie detectors do not even require body/mind training so that you can present a "truthful" facade to the machine. One trick is to make all your responses correspond to extreme and erratic indicators of "lying," completely throwing off the baseline "normal." You clench internal muscles even when you're answering the "easy" initial calibration questions. This way, you don't even have to worry about maintaining perfect calm mind/body control when they spring an unexpected twist on you; go ahead and freak out, but the machine's readings will already be all over the place.

Re:Passing is easy (4, Insightful)

tragedy (27079) | about 3 months ago | (#46097575)

To pass a lie detector test, you must 'believe' the lie is true.

Actually, to pass a lie detector test, the tester must believe what you are saying is true. They're not objective tests.

Re:Passing is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097845)

To pass a lie detector test, you must 'believe' the lie is true.

No, you have to give verifiable answers, most easily done by telling the truth.
It's not the machine, it's the interview. This is FAR from a pseudo science.

Picture a lawyer doing a cross-examination, and imagine how each of these next two things could give him a successively better advantage.

(A) Interrogating the witness in an environment where they have no legitimate reason to be nervous, like one-on-one.
(B) Using a machine that precisely tells when the witness might be nervous.

So sure, attempting to believe in your own lies _might_ defeat those advantages, B being a little trickier than just A.
However, lawyers regularly tear people apart with neither of those, and that's the part you're missing.

I don't see how you got off on using polygraphs to oppress people, they aren't going to do much if someone is legitimately stressed out. If you just want to fuck with people, you'd skip A and B. Polygraphs are for people already on the inside.

Re:Passing is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097867)

The problem with relying on meditation and "mind/body control" type stuff is that you can't really practice it. Kind of the same way there is no real way to prepare for exactly what fight night is like as a boxer or mma fighter. sure, you can do hard sparring in the gym for a month before the fight but when the bright lights are on, the crowd is cheering and cash is on the line...suddenly your heart rate goes up, your muscles are tense and you're burning energy before the first bell even rings. I'm sure the same thing happens with lie detectors. You might be able to pass it easily in an office with your buddy or instructor administering the test but when you get picked up by the Egyptian government and they want to know what exactly you think you're doing in Egypt, all bets are off.

Polygraphs are bullshit. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 3 months ago | (#46097243)

There's a reason they're not admissible in court.

-jcr

Re:Polygraphs are bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097949)

There's a reason they're not admissible in court.

-jcr

You apparently don't understand what they are, because they are a tool used in interrogations.
In a court, the nearest things would be cross-examinations, but the witness stand is not the place for a polygraph.

The results of the interrogation and the results of the polygraph are the same thing, so when you say inadmissible you mean some magical printout from a "lie detector" and not the video tapped interrogation. If you don't understand how interrogations work, you'll never figure out how a polygraph is used.

Lawyers would LOVE to use polygraph exams if they could.

More than meets the eye (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 3 months ago | (#46097269)

The article is from August. It's old and crusty and from a "Washington's insider website" --- translation = sensationalize the role of government including exaggerate and glamorify the role of government agencies to larger than life proportions to preach to the demographic choir = sell up the significance of all the departments including the law enforcement and homeland security ones.

So, uh, what is the significance and recentness of this? Or this is a tinfoil hat link or what?

It's a beltway, freebie, gets stuffed in your Congressional mailbox flyer to pump up the Washington-centrism in Washington DC.

Some words of advice: THINK BEFORE YOU POST (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097277)

Consider one thing:

If they can put away a man for TALKING about how easiy it is to bullshit your way through a polygraph ... how many smart-alec remarks do you think YOU have left before they come and kick your ASS??

I'm sure most of you will want to post something negative here but before you do.. consider this:

IF YOU DO and the more you do it, the more likely iit gets It's going to be your ASS that's going to get arrested and get disappeared into a FEDERAL DETENTION CENTER. There, you can be DETAINED FOR YEARS without even seeing a judge, without your family knowing where you are and NO WAY to make a phone call.

Nobody will care about you and you will not be mentioned on slashdot nor will there be human rights campaigners whining for your release.. you're just not that famous.

THINK.. and THEN POST. America is over, now you need to get over it as well.

Re:Some words of advice: THINK BEFORE YOU POST (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 3 months ago | (#46097425)

IF YOU DO and the more you do it, the more likely iit gets It's going to be your ASS that's going to get arrested and get disappeared into a FEDERAL DETENTION CENTER.

There is a reason why they call it haveass corpus, you know. ~

The cause for not being able to share information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46097809)

All devices and software have you agree to a license of how you will use that device, collect information gathered from it and how you can distribute that information if it is even possible.

The Feds Are Probably Kicking Themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46098025)

That they didn't just use secret courts to convict these guys and then render them to an overseas prison.

What exactly did the other guy go to jail for? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 3 months ago | (#46098077)

one of the two men known to have been targeted is presently serving an 8-month prison term.

I'm having some trouble ascertaining exactly what this guy went to prison for. Several news stories repeat the above while failing to specify that the charges were , as best as I can tell, "obstruction and wire fraud." Was the obstruction charge specifically to do with the polygraph training? Other news sites say things like "Lie Detector Fraud" which suggests it's the fraud that got him jailed, rather than the lie detector part.

So, was the obstruction charge actually because he obstructed justice by teaching others to beat the system (not that polygraphs are admissable in court) or was it something else entirely?

How long until EEGs are used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46098155)

How long until those newish EEG methods are used that can see lies forming in the brain before a person is even aware of the lie?

I THINK the project was called Neuron, but I am not 100% sure. Wait no, that was the thing that could partially recognise and reconstruct what a person was thinking of, it could replicate letters fairly well and managed to spell out NEURON.
I'm sure this just got an update fairly recently that I need to get around to reading.

ANYWAY, yeah, EEG methods should clearly be more feared than trying to break the easily broken lie detectors. They ACTUALLY work.

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