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Why should it be illegal to show how to beat the polygraph test

  1. Nov 18, 2014 #1

    nsaspook

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    http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/2014_1113_dougwilliamsindictment.pdf

    Mr. Williams is being charged with fraud for showing a machine and technique for being a fraud. Mr Williams is not being deceptive during a test, the person being 'tested' might be but that's the problem of the agency giving the test not actually conducting a real review of a persons activities and depending on the threat of some bogus test to make people disclose information. What the government wants to protect IMO is not the results of testing that are easily manipulated but the implied threat of taking a 'Poly' as a tool to induce voluntary disclosures of matters from most people that are not really criminal but embarrassing and could be used to coerce in some manner should they get out of line.
     
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  3. Nov 18, 2014 #2

    Doug Huffman

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    Maintain one's Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights at all costs. Do not speak to law enforcement except under arrest and then only on advice of counsel.
     
  4. Nov 18, 2014 #3

    Ryan_m_b

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    Lie detectors are almost entirely bunk. There's a reason most nations in the world don't use them in law enforcement.
     
  5. Nov 18, 2014 #4

    nsaspook

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    I don't have a problem with fooling some dumb criminal with a flashing light that you call a 'lie detector' but using it as a condition of employment or as a detector of insider threats should have stopped long ago.


     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  6. Nov 18, 2014 #5

    russ_watters

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    No, what it says is that he's being charged with "devising a scheme to commit fraud", which sound the same as a conspiracy charge. Helping to plan a crime is a crime, even if you don't participate in the intended crime and I think even if the crime doesn't end up taking place.
     
  7. Nov 18, 2014 #6
    Yes, and not just to commit fraud, but to defraud the US government. If you read the specifics, what they are upset about is not the lie detector, per se, but the specific fact of coaching people how to to lie to obtain government jobs they don't qualify for. Example:



     
  8. Nov 18, 2014 #7

    Doug Huffman

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    I pray that it is used against you someday. I retired in 1995 never having had to face one.
     
  9. Nov 18, 2014 #8

    nsaspook

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    It's perfectly legal for law enforcement to lie to you or trick you into answering questions if you don't invoke your rights.
     
  10. Nov 18, 2014 #9

    nsaspook

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    This is what the DOJ released about the nature of his charges.
    http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/owner...g-customers-lir-during-federally-administered
    The good thing about this is the government admits that:
    (1) polygraph countermeasures work, (2) they has no effective means of detecting them, (3) the polygraph is a fraud.
     
  11. Nov 18, 2014 #10
    And if his method had not worked all of those people could have sued him for fraud. <(@^@)>

    Was Aldrich Ames the guy who passed a lot of CIA lie detector tests?
     
  12. Nov 18, 2014 #11

    Danger

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    If these charges go through, your country is in even sadder shape than the rest of us suspect.
     
  13. Nov 18, 2014 #12

    nsaspook

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    He passed at least two tests while on the soviet payroll. Soviet spy John A. Walker also passed and failed tests when he testified for the government.
    http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1986/P...ctor-Test/id-a4f333b64aac389fa50755eeeabb0122
     
  14. Nov 18, 2014 #13

    russ_watters

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    You should read the actual indictment you posted in the OP. The law is titled "Mail Fraud and Other Fraud Offenses", which includes both sides of the coin, not just the execution of the fraud. Devising the fraudulent scheme, not executing it, is the actual charge.

    Also, the relevant part of the law is a single, excruciating, run-on sentence (f'n lawyers...):
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1341

    Actually, the way it reads, the execution is really secondary to irrelevant. There's no distinction made in the punishment for whether you execute it or only devise it and plan to execute it (unlike, say, with murder).

    The obstruction of justice charge is of course more self explanatory, but again you should read the indictment for more specifics: the method or type of obstruction of justice is witness tampering.
     
  15. Nov 19, 2014 #14

    nsaspook

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    I think the point is there is no real fraudulent scheme devised or executed IRT to the polygraph test as a scientifically valid method for the detection of deception. The reverse is actually true, his 'scheme' exposes a fraud that has cost the tax payers untold millions, gives a completely false sense of security and is about as effective as Divination using chicken bones for the truth in employment or investigations. If the government used psychics and a person instructed people that they were frauds, you could lie to them and not be detected by constricting your anal sphincter muscle (now they have a pad that detects that during a test but there are other simple methods), charging you with devising a fraudulent scheme is Orwellian.
    http://www.apa.org/research/action/polygraph.aspx [Broken]

    I did read it and said in the OP that he devised the "scheme" and taught it to 'others' to actually use it.
    'Mr Williams is not being deceptive during a test, the person being 'tested' might be"

    https://antipolygraph.org/litigation/doug-williams/doug-williams-arraignment.pdf
    He walked out the door with a OR bond.

    Mr Williams and others have been teaching this and other anti-poly 'schemes' for ages.
    Al-Qaeda Lie detector: al-qaeda-lie-detection
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  16. Nov 19, 2014 #15
    But:

    Which shows that Williams intended to profit by teaching the applicants to be deceptive to the US government in general so they could get jobs they are not qualified for. The fact the polygraph is an unreliable way to screen someone for deception is immaterial. The intent to profit by defrauding the government is what matters here.
     
  17. Nov 19, 2014 #16

    nsaspook

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    Please, don't be naive. These charges are directed at people who show the polygraph is a fraud and/or teach countermeasures. If it was just for coaching people to get government jobs they are not qualified for I could do a quick search of the internet and find companies who coach people in methods to get jobs they might have a problem getting and bust most of them for giving similar advice or selling products using these techniques and charges.
    How to pass a drug test for weed

    https://antipolygraph.org/blog/2014...-countermeasures-can-be-routinely-identified/
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/2...tests-should-be-criminally-investigated.shtml
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  18. Nov 19, 2014 #17
    I had to undergo one of these "tests" many years ago as a condition of employment with a private company. It was extremely unpleasant. I had the sense that the examiner was trying to trick me at every turn. Evidently I passed (I was allowed to keep my crummy job), but it did not enhance my opinion of my employer or the polygraph folks.
     
  19. Nov 19, 2014 #18

    russ_watters

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    He taught people to defeat it for the purpose of committing fraud. That's a fraudulent scheme. I see this as pretty open-and-shut.
    C'mon. That's like robbing a bank to prove it isn't secure.
    It doesn't matter. It's like driving the getaway car and trying to argue your way out of a bank robbery charge. He helped set up the fraud, even if he's not the one who actually executed it.
    You're really manipulating reality here. Teaching someone how to interview better and teaching someone how to lie effectively are nowhere close to the same thing.

    We get it -- you don't like polygraphs. But don't let your bias cloud your judgement. This is a simple/straightforward case.
     
  20. Nov 19, 2014 #19

    nsaspook

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    Comparing deception countermeasures as akin to teaching bank robbery is silly.

    First, is simply teaching how to defeat a polygraph or how to lie convincingly illegal? No and nobody has ever been convicted of this or most law schools would be prisons. ;)

    If the agents were actual people who used or were suspected of using countermeasures independent of him would they have been charged with a crime of fraud if discovered? No, to the best of my knowledge.

    I've looked and can't find one case of it happening but there are many cases of people suspected of using countermeasures not getting jobs.

    So his fraud is getting paid for something that's not illegal for him to do and is not charged as fraud for those who are suspected of doing it on their own.

    http://cironline.org/reports/doubts-about-polygraphs-don’t-stop-federal-agencies-using-them-4326
     
  21. Nov 20, 2014 #20
    I think you're being naive. Williams isn't some neutral party conducting studies in an academic setting that prove, to the government's chagrin, the polygraph is ineffective. He's actively offering lessons for money in how to obviate the government's hiring process. There's a difference between a mercenary and a public watch dog.
    A quick look at the first page revealed completely free advice. The advice at the first link was 'don't smoke pot for at least three weeks before the test,' which means the advice was to pass the test by not having any pot in your system. In other words: pass the test by actually passing the test. Heh. It says all other methods are fraught with hard to control complications and danger of discovery. I paid nothing to read that. If there are people who charge for info on how to pass a weed test specifically with respect to getting government jobs, it seems to me they could face the same charge as Williams.

    From what I've read, the outcome of the polygraph is directed by the operator. There have been studies that show that, If the operator thinks the testee is lying, he unconsciously manipulates the test to reflect that. It's extremely sad anyone would use them in light of those and other studies debunking them, but Williams is not out to debunk them to kill their use. He's exploiting the fact they aren't reliable for personal profit. He's not out there alerting the public that innocent people have been denied jobs they should have gotten.

    It would be a whole different situation if the government were going after an academic who released a study debunking polygraphs.
     
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