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(Hot Air)   Feds target people who teach people to beat a test with a high false-positive rate, not legal for use in any developed nations courts, and is considered junk science   (hotair.com) divider line 87
    More: Interesting, enforcement discretion, developing nations, criminalization, Mcclatchy  
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3936 clicks; posted to Politics » on 18 Aug 2013 at 3:18 PM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-18 02:08:44 PM
Polygraphs are a joke.  Never consent to one.
 
2013-08-18 02:26:23 PM

Lionel Mandrake: Polygraphs are a joke.  Never consent to one.


They're required for any security clearance.  But i don't think they are actually used to elicit truth, so much as an assessment of one's ability to handle interrogation.  In that respect, I'd think that finding a way to trick them would be performing a service for the Feds.  Bureaucratic lack of vision strikes again.
 
2013-08-18 03:20:03 PM

Lionel Mandrake: Polygraphs are a joke.  Never consent to one.


I always wish I could be a fly on the wall when Farkers who say "never do a polygraph, never talk to cops, etc." are actually confronted with said situation.
 
2013-08-18 03:24:29 PM

thamike: They're required for any security clearance.


Since when? I wasn't administered one in the early 80s for a Secret clearance (which were handed out like candy, basically)
 
2013-08-18 03:29:32 PM
I saw an interesting lecture a while ago where the speaker said that many police officers know the polygraph doesn't work, but use it anyway because it can goad regular people (who mistakenly think it works) into confessing for fear of being caught by the machine.
 
2013-08-18 03:29:45 PM
Not according to the article headline. According to it, the feds that are targeting the polygraph are beating instructors.

Which is weird, but hey.

/hyphens are your friend
 
2013-08-18 03:31:47 PM
Subby is lying! Lying, I say!
 
2013-08-18 03:32:55 PM

thamike: They're required for any security clearance.


I wonder if the people maintaining that idiotic requirement will ever learn that it just makes their agency look incredibly superstitious and backwards. (We don't usually give a lot of credibility to the occasional cops that rely on "psychics" for "leads" either)

It's not like this isn't widely known, either. So they are choosing to look incompetent at their job. This doesn't suggest good things about their management.

/their idiotic polygraph policy was what kept me from accepting the NSA's very-profitable job offers a couple decades ago
 
2013-08-18 03:35:05 PM

Biological Ali: I saw an interesting lecture a while ago where the speaker said that many police officers know the polygraph doesn't work, but use it anyway because it can goad regular people (who mistakenly think it works) into confessing for fear of being caught by the machine.


Used in Homicide: Life on the Streets and The Wire.
 
2013-08-18 03:36:28 PM

AndreMA: Since when? I wasn't administered one in the early 80s for a Secret clearance (which were handed out like candy, basically)


As usual with security clearances, the level ("Secret", ...) isn't nearly as important as the "need to know" side of things. It ends up varying from agency to agency, the topic you're working on, etc.
 
2013-08-18 03:39:20 PM
Polygraphs are about as reliable as palm readings.  An interrogator might use on to try an intimidate someone under interrogation who is unaware of their uselessness but that is really a matter of interrogator skill.

/to render a polygraph inconclusive just squeeze your sphincter muscles a lot.
 
2013-08-18 03:40:52 PM
MRI's are way more accurate. You can see the thoughts forming.

/but are hideously more expensive
 
2013-08-18 03:44:50 PM
Polygraphs are pure bunkum but I'll be damned if I can muster up so much as an ounce of sympathy for the idiots who tried earning a living teaching people how to beat them who are now being leaned on by the Feds.
 
2013-08-18 03:46:02 PM
People who are "high strung" or too emotional often fail polygraph tests while sociopathic and/or pathological liar types often pass them. Truly effective and reliable piece of gear these so called "lie detectors" are.
 
2013-08-18 03:46:42 PM
Feds target people who teach people to beat a test with a high false-positive rate, not legal for use in any developed nations courts, and is considered junk science

This sentence is simply quite atrocious.
 
2013-08-18 03:48:20 PM

2wolves: Used in Homicide: Life on the Streets and The Wire.


like this
 
2013-08-18 03:49:38 PM
Barney Miller. Dietrich beats the lie detector Voice Analyzer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWdRXcNCSEo


/Lots of money to be made marketing a bullshiat machine to the morons in charge.
 
2013-08-18 03:50:16 PM

Karma Chameleon: Lionel Mandrake: Polygraphs are a joke.  Never consent to one.

I always wish I could be a fly on the wall when Farkers who say "never do a polygraph, never talk to cops, etc." are actually confronted with said situation.


So you could witness them not talking to police or taking a polygraph...I kind of think those that say it mean it.
 
2013-08-18 03:53:30 PM
Without reading the artivle or thread I was thinking "How to recite the alphabet backwards?". That is very much a learnable skill for a BS test.
 
2013-08-18 03:55:43 PM
 
2013-08-18 03:56:23 PM
pdkl95:

AndreMA: Since when? I wasn't administered one in the early 80s for a Secret clearance (which were handed out like candy, basically)

As usual with security clearances, the level ("Secret", ...) isn't nearly as important as the "need to know" side of things. It ends up varying from agency to agency, the topic you're working on, etc.


Pretty much. "Secret" is no big deal... Most agencies just want to know that you have a clean criminal and credit record, aren't a known terrorist and can be trusted to not wander into restricted areas at sensitive sites.

If you want to do business with the big agencies / departments / spooks, the magic phrase is TSC/SCI/POLY. *Much* more thorough background check where they send someone around to interview your family / friends / coworkers, demand all your financial records, and you agree to on-demand polygraphs / chicken-entrail readings.

Quite often you also have to agree to allow them to monitor you at random, as a friend found out after an ex-girlfriend called him and mentioned she had an outstanding warrant. He was called into security the next day and got to hear the conversation played back to him.
 
2013-08-18 03:58:26 PM
Yes, polygraphs are nonsense. So are bite mark analysis, most uses of animal DNA in crime scene processing, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. None of that changes the fact that Hot Air is a joke.
 
2013-08-18 03:59:49 PM
Polygraphs are almost, but not quite, as accurate as Scientology's e-meters.
 
2013-08-18 04:00:55 PM
Polygraphs give useful cover to managers when their subordinates commit a breach of security. The managers can claim they passed the poly and the managers are blameless.

If you are asked to take a poly as part of an actual criminal investigation, you have nothing to win.  If they actually had evidence there would be no need for a poly, it is done purely to sweat a confession out of you.  You WILL "fail" it so they can start the pressure.
 
2013-08-18 04:04:59 PM

MayoSlather: Karma Chameleon: Lionel Mandrake: Polygraphs are a joke.  Never consent to one.

I always wish I could be a fly on the wall when Farkers who say "never do a polygraph, never talk to cops, etc." are actually confronted with said situation.

So you could witness them not talking to police or taking a polygraph...I kind of think those that say it mean it.


Either I'm proven wrong and the world is still full of decent, intelligent people, or I am proven right, and well, get to feel good about myself or something. Win win.
 
2013-08-18 04:13:32 PM

Lionel Mandrake: Polygraphs are a joke.  Never consent to one.


THIS^  It's junk science and should never be allowed in a courtroom.
 
2013-08-18 04:16:27 PM

maxheck: If you want to do business with the big agencies / departments / spooks, the magic phrase is TSC/SCI/POLY


Is SIOP still a thing?
 
2013-08-18 04:17:20 PM

teto85: Polygraphs are almost, but not quite, as accurate as Scientology's e-meters.


Tom Cruise and Xenu frowns upon your shenanigans.
s17.postimg.org
 
2013-08-18 04:19:45 PM
Oh Penn and Teller, what BS haven't you covered.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NLf7XwLpyQ

Lie Detectors are BULLshiat.
 
2013-08-18 04:19:55 PM
www.airportsinternational.com
What an easy-to-beat, high false positive rate, junk science device might look like...
 
2013-08-18 04:27:55 PM
I saw an interview of a guy who trained people to beat lie detector tests. Apparently there are a lot of blood vessels around your turd-cutter, so clenching your sphincter randomly or at every question will make the readings go wonky but the technician won't notice any movement. He said something like "It takes one poorly trained butthole to beat another poorly trained butthole."
 
2013-08-18 04:29:35 PM

Karma Chameleon: Lionel Mandrake: Polygraphs are a joke.  Never consent to one.

I always wish I could be a fly on the wall when Farkers who say "never do a polygraph, never talk to cops, etc." are actually confronted with said situation.


The one time I had to go through a nudiescope at the airport I opted out. Does that count?


/seriously, every other time I went to the airport I never had to do it. It was either broken or I found a lane that didn't have it or they just randomly told people to go through and I always got the metal detector
 
2013-08-18 04:31:47 PM
FTFA: "But instructors may be prosecuted if they know that the people they're teaching plan to lie about crimes during federal polygraphs, he said. "

So basically, if they use entrapment, they can prosecute.
 
2013-08-18 04:41:02 PM

AndreMA: thamike: They're required for any security clearance.

Since when? I wasn't administered one in the early 80s for a Secret clearance (which were handed out like candy, basically)


Since right after then, I suppose.
 
2013-08-18 04:41:18 PM

Gergesa: Polygraphs are about as reliable as palm readings.  An interrogator might use on to try an intimidate someone under interrogation who is unaware of their uselessness but that is really a matter of interrogator skill.

/to render a polygraph inconclusive just squeeze your sphincter muscles a lot.


This is actually fairly good advice for most ANY situation.
 
2013-08-18 05:02:53 PM
My 2008 DoS TS clearance didn't require polygraph, just the usual SF-86 form going back 10 years
 
2013-08-18 05:13:03 PM

teto85: Polygraphs are almost, but not quite, as accurate as Scientology's e-meters.


E-meters aren't designed for accuracy.  They are designed to train their sheep to behave like sheep.  Sort of like Reaper Indoctrination, to pick a gaming reference.
 
2013-08-18 05:14:18 PM

Karma Chameleon: I always wish I could be a fly on the wall when Farkers who say "never do a polygraph, never talk to cops, etc." are actually confronted with said situation.


I don't know why because it would be pretty boring.  All you would hear is is a very calm, "No thanks, I'll keep looking."

Company gave me a choice of (location wide) layoff or transfer to Texas in a program with a high-level clearance.  Location played a part in my choice of taking the layoff but so did invasive investigation, which would have included a polygraph.

Last year, I was very qualified for a contract with the FAA which didn't deal with classified information but was called a "trusted position".  They wanted my medical records and I declined.  The recruiter, who had placed me at previous contracts, pleaded with me to at least interview and think about it but I said no even though I was pretty much a shoo-in.
 
2013-08-18 05:14:57 PM

blue_2501: teto85: Polygraphs are almost, but not quite, as accurate as Scientology's e-meters.

E-meters aren't designed for accuracy.  They are designed to train their sheep to behave like sheep.  Sort of like Reaper Indoctrination, to pick a gaming reference.


24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-08-18 05:31:19 PM
Non-derp link.  Hat tip:  Slashdot.

/NGTRTFA
 
2013-08-18 05:41:41 PM

zerkalo: My 2008 DoS TS clearance didn't require polygraph, just the usual SF-86 form going back 10 years


My 2007 DOJ security clearance did not require a polygraph. But FBI agents in 3 states knocked on doors of my family and acquaintances to ask if I'm a miscreant.

CSB

In days of yore, I  was hired for a retail sales job, and a polygraph was required.

I asked the operator, "Does this thing really detect lies?"

He said, "No. But you'd be amazed at the stuff people admit when they're hooked up to the machine!"

/ CSB
 
2013-08-18 05:48:17 PM

pdkl95: thamike: They're required for any security clearance.

I wonder if the people maintaining that idiotic requirement will ever learn that it just makes their agency look incredibly superstitious and backwards. (We don't usually give a lot of credibility to the occasional cops that rely on "psychics" for "leads" either)

It's not like this isn't widely known, either. So they are choosing to look incompetent at their job. This doesn't suggest good things about their management.

/their idiotic polygraph policy was what kept me from accepting the NSA's very-profitable job offers a couple decades ago


I think polygraphs are stupid and unreliable but would still take one if a good job was on the line.

Why not take the chance.
 
2013-08-18 05:50:45 PM

jaytkay: zerkalo: My 2008 DoS TS clearance didn't require polygraph, just the usual SF-86 form going back 10 years

My 2007 DOJ security clearance did not require a polygraph. But FBI agents in 3 states knocked on doors of my family and acquaintances to ask if I'm a miscreant.

CSB

In days of yore, I  was hired for a retail sales job, and a polygraph was required.

I asked the operator, "Does this thing really detect lies?"

He said, "No. But you'd be amazed at the stuff people admit when they're hooked up to the machine!"

/ CSB


In college a few decades ago, I applied for a job as a cashier at a convenience store. and they required a polygraph.

I went to the contractor, and he asked if I had any drugs in my system. I told him I'd had coffee that morning, and he started screaming about how stupid I was for mentioning stupid goddamned caffeine when he was talking about DRUGS, goddammit!

I checked back on the job a few days later. The manager told me the poygrapher's report stated I had lied about every single question, including things like my name and address. The manager admitted it had to be bullshiat, but said company policy barred him from hiring me.
 
2013-08-18 05:52:54 PM
Iirc isn't the issue with polygraphs true responses showing as lies, but lies rarely showing falsely a truth?

The lack of false negatives can still leave the test with some value at ruling things out then.

It has been a while since I read up on them.
 
2013-08-18 05:57:09 PM
When I was a lot younger, a friend of my mom's, who had spent time as some sort of law enforcement officer (I can never remember which kind, though) taught me multiple ways to confound polygraph machines because he was well aware of how stupid they were and figured more people ought to know how to get past them in order to make it more widely known in legal circles how f*cking stupid they were. He basically told me what they typically see are levels of stress, which can result from just being asked a question about your guilt even if you are not guilty, and then spin it on you as some sort of scientific proof you're lying.

Years later, in psychology courses I've taken, and post-graduation while studying neuroscience, cognitive science, and social psychology, I have since learned the most accurate lie-detector out there to date is in fact other humans... who are either themselves expert liars or have a rather specific type of neurological dysfunction (which can result after stroke or certain types of focal TBI) that impairs certain kinds of linguistic processing the brain does. And even then, they're not all that accurate either; just slightly, but statistically significantly, more accurate than the machines.

However, the legal system in the US takes a long time to catch up to established scientific findings that pertain to legal matters. I mean, for f*ck's sake, we still allow eyewitness testimony, and that's been shown to be sketchy as hell for decades. So we are, for the time being, stuck with polygraphs in investigations until we get a large enough number of people (or a small number of powerful people who care) who are sick and tired of it.
 
2013-08-18 06:07:00 PM

Smackledorfer: I think polygraphs are stupid and unreliable but would still take one if a good job was on the line.

Why not take the chance.


Because there are other jobs out there, and it's not always about the money. Yes, there's various principled, ideological reasons for now wanting to support nonsense like polygraphs, but... for once, that wasn't the primary concern.

Evaluating management is important when choosing to accept a job, and this kind of policy only betrays a culture of extreme distrust and confrontation. It also suggests a nasty "ends justify the means" based culture of putting popular ideas ahead of effectiveness; while bad anywhere, mandating delusion and superstition over reality is particularly frightening in a spy agency like the NSA.
 
2013-08-18 06:19:52 PM

Kome: He basically told me what they typically see are levels of stress, which can result from just being asked a question about your guilt even if you are not guilty, and then spin it on you as some sort of scientific proof you're lying.


The big game with the polygraph is not anything to do with the machine (which doesn't do anything particularly interesting), but that they try and compare their interesting questions to one where they assume you are lying. They'll ask you something involving a situation where many people would give a "little white lie", or cover up some trivial infraction (e.g. taking office supplies or something stupid like that), and assume that due to the stress of the confrontation that you will lie. This is then compared to the real questions for various non-scientific similarities they think they can see.

This leads to an obvious counter to the polygraph, that will *really piss off* your test administrator as it pretty much invalidates the entire test: don't lie. If you don't give the "little white lie" they are expecting, they don't have anything to compare to. Note: this won't necessarily give you a 'pass' either, if you are concerned about a job, as 'incomplete' isn't the same as 'pass' or 'fail'.

/the fact that this game fails hard on those of us that don't lie like they incorrectly assume everybody does is another reason I don't work at the NSA...
 
2013-08-18 06:22:23 PM

thamike: Lionel Mandrake: Polygraphs are a joke.  Never consent to one.

They're required for any security clearance.  But i don't think they are actually used to elicit truth, so much as an assessment of one's ability to handle interrogation.  In that respect, I'd think that finding a way to trick them would be performing a service for the Feds.  Bureaucratic lack of vision strikes again.


Required for 'any' security clearance? Don't know about that; I had full security clearance at MIA Int. Airport and I wasn't subjected to a polygraph.
 
2013-08-18 06:33:45 PM

Empty Matchbook: Gergesa: Polygraphs are about as reliable as palm readings.  An interrogator might use on to try an intimidate someone under interrogation who is unaware of their uselessness but that is really a matter of interrogator skill.

/to render a polygraph inconclusive just squeeze your sphincter muscles a lot.

This is actually fairly good advice for most ANY situation.


Kegels are the most important exercise.
 
2013-08-18 06:41:15 PM
FTA: "When that conspiracy occurs, both parties are guilty," said Schwartz, a veteran federal polygrapher who heads Customs' polygraph program. "And it makes more sense to me to try to investigate the party that's doing the training proving that I'm just a high tech version of a voodoo doctor because when you do that, you eliminate dozens or hundreds or thousands of people . . . from getting that training. make sure that my job is secure for years to come"

FTFTVD
 
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