Polygraph "Tests" and How to Beat Them
12:51PM Jul 31, 2020
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening hacker community. Welcome back for day seven of hope 2020, a big shout out to all the attendees presenters and volunteers who make this virtual version of our conference so successful. Thank you We couldn't be here without you. We have another incredible series of talks and workshops lined up for you today. Our first session today is from George maski, the co founder of anti polygraphed. org, a nonprofit public interest website dedicated to exposing fraud and abuse and the use of polygraphs and lie detectors, this talk today is on polygraph tests and how to beat them, in which he will discuss the scientific shortcomings of polygraphs why they pose a threat to innocent test takers and give us some tips and tricks for beating one. Remember, at the end of George's talk we'll have a q&a session with George and you can submit your questions and matrix chat window. All right, George, take it away.
Good morning hope 2020. I'm George masky, and I'm a co founder of anti polygraph. org, a nonprofit public interest website dedicated to exposing and ending waste, fraud and abuse associated with the use of polygraphs and other purported lie detectors. I'm a former US Army interrogator and Arabic linguist, and a former reserve intelligence officer with experience in counterterrorism. I'm also a victim of the polygraph, and it is my sincere hope that you will not become one to employees and contractors of such federal agencies as the CIA, NSA and FBI, to name a few. are subject to pre employment polygraph screening and then after they're hired, they're subject to periodic polygraph screening throughout their careers. In particular, those seeking government employment or employment through a contractor in the information technology field are likely to be subjected to polygraph screening. Unfortunately, May, honest, and well qualified applicants end up being falsely branded as liars by their government, and they suffer long term severe career harm. As a
In recent years, the polygraph has also been used to discourage whistle
Those who are currently working for the US government in positions that require periodic polygraph screening, or being asked about any media contacts. So, how did the polygraph come to play such a prominent role in US government employment policy. We'll explore that question. And we'll also discuss techniques that you can use to protect yourself against the risk of wrongly failing the polygraph these techniques are called polygraph countermeasures. and while they can be used by truthful people to protect themselves. They can also be used by liars to beat the polygraph.
long standing broad scientific consensus that polygraph testing has no scientific basis. It has been embraced by the intelligence,
and law enforcement arms of the US federal government. In 2020, it's fair to say that calligraphy is the official pseudoscience of the United States government. The federal government operates the country's largest polygraph School, which is now called the National Center for credibility assessment at Fort Jackson South Carolina. Before that, it was called the defense Academy for credibility assessment and before that, the Department of Defense polygraph Institute. And despite its long association with the Defense Department in the United States. It actually trains the polygraph operators, for all federal agencies with polygraph programs. Apart from training, all federal polygraph operators, the National Center for credibility assessment also controls the budget for all federal polygraph research. This creates a conflict of interest because the polygraph operators who run the school are not particularly interested in any research that would call into question their methods and practices. It's kind of like having the tobacco industry in charge of cancer research.
Origins of calligraphy in America can be traced back
to William Moulton Marston who studied psychology and law at Harvard University in 1915 began experimenting with a blood pressure cuff in an attempt to detect lies. His techniques were not particularly successful, and were rejected by the US courts.
had a polygraph.org published his FBI file where there's an annotation that he's a phony
had a crackpot nonetheless.
His idea was inspired a student at the University of California Berkeley, to look into expanding on these techniques.
JOHN Augustus Larsen
studied medicine at the University of California at Berkeley, and upon graduation entered the Berkeley police department. There, he assembled the first polygraph instrument which combined, a book, the blood pressure cuff that Marston used with new monograph tubes that went around a person's chest to record a breathing. And unlike marstons test,
the readings were recorded on paper so they could be reviewed later.
Larson devices polygraph
instrument with the approval of Berkeley, police chief Auguste former who's considered the father of modern policing in America.
However, it was
Leonardo Keeler who worked with Larson, who
was the first to
build a practical and portable polygraph instrument. Here we see killer with his first polygraph instrument, which he built in Los Angeles. He later moved to Chicago where he opened the first polygraph school, and he trained, the federal government's first polygraph operators.
Interestingly, the FBI
used a polygraph for the first time in an espionage investigation in 1938 to interrogate a Nazi German spy named Ignace Theodore greevil, because the agents investigating were confident that he was cooperating with them based on his polygraph results. They relaxed supervision of him, enabling him to escape to Germany
Another important figure in the history of calligraphy is john e Reed, who also of Chicago, who devised what's called the control question test in calligraphy The most common technique used today. And we'll talk about that technique, a bit later. Reed also devised the Reid technique of interrogation, which has been widely taught to law enforcement intelligence and military personnel in the United States, and which is believed to be responsible for numerous false confessions Cleve Baxter is credited with starting the CIA's polygraph program in 1948, but he didn't stay long at the CIA, he left and started his own polygraph school, and he devised a numerical system of polygraph charge scoring. That was adopted by the Federal polygraph school, and indeed by polygraph operators across the country. He also became a pop celebrity in the 1960s for his claims that he had discovered through his polygraph instrument that plants can read human thought
officer Aldrich Ames was arrested in 1994, in charged with spying for the Soviet Union and Russia. During the time that he was committing espionage he passed the polygraph twice. Your response to this the CIA had a crackdown where they greeted polygraph charts much more harshly sidelining the careers of many employees, but not finding any spies.
Somehow, in response to the Ames case,
the FBI became convinced that it would be a good idea to mandate polygraph screening of applicants for employment. And so since 1994 all FBI agents hired have had to pass a pre employment policy
in a 2008 letter to Steven Aftergood
of the Federation of American Scientists Ames wrote
the US is so far as I know, the only nation which places such extensive reliance on the polygraph. It has gotten us into a lot of trouble.
Dr. Drew Richardson, then the FBI is senior scientific expert on polygraphs testified against pornography, to a subcommittee of the United States Senate. Dr. Richardson testified that polygraph screening is completely without any theoretical foundation. It has absolutely no validity, the diagnostic value of this type of testing is no more than that of astrology, or TV reading. In 2002, the National Research Council in our of the National Academy of Sciences, published an exhaustive review of the scientific evidence on polygraphs. The National Research Council's key conclusion was that polygraph testings accuracy and distinguishing actual or potential security violators from unison test takers is insufficient to justify reliance on it to use in employee security screening in federal agencies,
federal agencies with polygraph
screening programs, completely disregarded the recommendations of the National Research Council. They not only continue to their polygraph screening programs but they greatly expanded them in the aftermath of 911,
in 2016, Brian r Morris,
then a Department of Defense polygraph operator setting remarks to the Federalist
Society at the
South Texas College of Law. I got the number of internal exams, that the god ran, whether they're applicants or current employees trying to maintain their security clearance from May 2010 to April 2011 over 43,000 internal exams. That's pre Edward Snowden post Edward Snowden.
That number is tripled
the aftermath of 911 as polygraph
screening has expanded
the failure rates have also gone up. At this
time, failure rates on the order of 50 to 70% are not unusual in federal agencies. It's gotten to the point that even retired FBI polygraph operator john Sullivan, wrote in an article published in 2017. Speaking of the CIA's polygraph program in honest subject has no better chance than a dishonest subject of getting through the process.
in order to demonstrate that the Emperor is truly naked. It is necessary to describe his genitalia. Let's take a look at the Naked Truth Behind calligraphy
testing is actually based on trickery not science, the polygraph operator deceives or attempts to deceive the subject in certain ways that are
not commonly known by the public.
But if you learn the methodology. It turns out it's fairly easy to fool the polygraph
I'll teach you how.
Most importantly, you need to realize that the test
is an interrogation in disguise
are divided into three phases, the pretest the pretest and the post test.
There are three major polygraph techniques used
by the federal government for applicate, and employee screening. Due to time constraints, I'm going to limit myself in the teaching of countermeasures to one technique that which is used by federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, the DEA and the US Secret Service. It's called the law enforcement pre employment test or
During the pre test phase of the polygraph the
operator will attempt to establish
rapport with the subject. This is important
because it helps to
encourage admissions, which is what the polygraph test is really all about. Second, the operator will review the polygraph questions with the subject. Every question that asked him the next phase the test phase will be reviewed beforehand. And finally, in the pre test phase the operator will attempt to impress the subject with how accurate the polygraph is through a device that's called the stimulation or stim test, also known as an acquaintance test in the stim test. The operator directs the subject to choose a number and name to deny having chosen that number has the operator resolve a series of numbers, including the chosen number. The operator then attempts to convince the subject that he or she reacted strongly. When deny having chosen
If he tests you can also expect to be asked about
any past polygraphs you may have set for. Think about it. If calligraphy were a scientifically valid test. Why would it matter at all, if you didn't polygraph in the past. You can also expect to the question about whether you've researched calligraphy. Again, if it was a scientific test. Why would that matter. And you can expect to be read
or that to read a countermeasures statement.
Here is a sample countermeasures statement.
It is not uncommon for people who have to take a polygraph examination to research information on the topic. Often they come across sites or read articles that suggests they have to perform some activity to help them through their polygraph examination. Such science and articles often provide bogus information. In fact, when people attempt to influence the outcome of their polygraph examination in various ways such activity reveals that they have abdicated their responsibility to tell the truth, and are being non cooperative. Can I count on you not to involve yourself in such activity.
There are three main types of questions that
you'll be asked while you're connected to the polygraph instrument. These are called relevant irrelevant and control or comparison questions.
These are the relevant questions
asked during the federal government's law enforcement pre employment polygraph test. These are the questions that they really want to know the answers to. They're divided into two phases. The first one about national security. The other is
our so called lifestyle questions.
So the phase one questions. Why have you been involved in espionage, or terrorism against the US to have you damaged any United States government information or defense systems. Three.
Have you had any unauthorized foreign contact
and phase two, which will be a separate charge collection. Are you withholding information about committing a serious crime. Are you intentionally withholding any information about your involvement with illegal drugs. And three, did you deliberately falsify any information
on your application forms.
The interest phase will also include
irrelevant questions. These are examples from the law enforcement pre employment test Are you sitting down is today monday are the lights on in this room. Is this the month of July, are you now in New York. The operator will tell the subject that the purpose of these questions is to show what their responses look like when they're telling the truth. But in fact, these irrelevant questions are not scored at all. And they merely serve as buffers between pairs of relevant and control or comparison questions,
which we'll talk about next.
One of the biggest deceptions in calligraphy. the lie behind the lie detector, if you will, is the function of the so called Kaabah lie control or comparison questions.
These are questions that
the polygraph operator secretly expects, everyone is going to lie to. Examples of probable like control questions, taken from the law enforcement pre employment test include. Did you ever take credit for someone else's work. Did you ever lie about someone behind his or her back. Did you ever cheat in school did you ever cheat in sports do you ever cheat at carbs. Did you ever lie to anyone you consider to be a friend. Did you ever spread gossip about anyone you consider to be a friend. Did you ever spread gossip about a co worker. Did you ever cheat on any academic assignment while in school, could you ever lie to a supervisor, you previously worked for the polygraph operator will compare your reaction to these control questions with your reaction to the relevant questions. If you react more strongly to the control questions you pass.
if your reaction to the young relevant questions is stronger. Then you fail. If this methodology seems overly simplistic to you. You're right. It is. It has no grounding in the scientific method.
The key to passing the
polygraph will be to make no disqualifying admissions, and to exhibit stronger reactions to the control questions into the relevant questions.
Let's take a look now at the polygraph
attachments that are going to be connected to you during the test phase of the polygraph procedure. These are new mograph tubes, which will go around your torso and abdomen, and they will measure your breathing.
This is a finger plate set, there are two of these.
And they're attached typically to the ring finger and index finger and they measure differences in conductivity or resistance
as a function of power sweating.
So they're watching you perspire with this.
The third major component is the cardio cuff, which is typically placed around the arm opposite the hand with the electrodes or finger plates attached the polygraph operator will tell the subject that this is to measure blood pressure, but it really doesn't do that in order to measure blood pressure, you have to let the pressure, out of the cuff polygraph operators, keep the cuff inflated during the whole chart collection. and it's measuring something that is not defined in medicine. There's no medical test where the cardio cuff is used in this way. But, it produces a tracing that will go up and down, and polygraph operators use this to discern reactions, and make inferences about whether a person has spoken the truth or not.
Here is a sample portion of a polygraph chart,
taken from an actual polygraph test conducted by US Customs and Border Protection on this chart. Each vertical line represents five seconds in time. And the gray bars into going, the vertical gray bars. Those indicate the time period during which a question has been asked, and the blue tracings a pair of blue tracings that you see towards the top of the chart. Those are the new graphic tubes, measuring breathing.
The green tracing
is the electrodermal facing based on the finger plates, and the red tracing towards the bottom of the screen is
the output of the cardio cuff
again showing something which is not blood pressure. That's not defined in medicine. It also does indicate accurately,
heart rate. And
you'll also notice at the top and but very bottom of the charts, there are two black tracings. Those are from motion sensing pads that have been placed on the seat of the polygraph chair and under the subjects feed. And that too is used in an attempt to detect any motion that a person might engage in an attempt to alter the outcome of the polygraph, the polygraph countermeasures that I'll be explaining to do not entail any kind of motion, that would be detected by these same sort
So, following the pretest phase which culminates with the stem test where you're connected to the polygraph and asked to select a number and deny having chosen it to be impressed by how accurate the polygraph is in detecting the number you chose the intest will begin. This is where the real questions that are going to be scoring are asked, and we'll take a look at
question sequence from the intense for the law enforcement pre employment test.
Here you see a list of nine questions.
That would be asked during a single chart collection for Phase One of the law enforcement pre employment test. The first question is always an irrelevant question. Are you sitting down Yes, it's not scored. The second question is relevant but it's characterized as a sacrifice relevant question. It's considered that since it's the first relevant question. Subject might show a reaction to it simply by virtue of its being the first relevant questions, not scored. They ask concerning national security issues. Do you intend to answer each question truthfully, expected answer is
then the first control or comparison question is asked
an arbitrary date. Typically, the time of the subjects application for employment. Did you ever lie about something important.
No is the expected answer.
Next comes question for the first relevant question. Have you been involved in espionage or terrorism against the US expected answer is no, that's followed by a comparison or control question, prior to date. Did you ever cheat anyone out of anything. Again the expected answer is no. And then that's followed by an irrelevant question is today. Whatever the day of the week is and expected answer will be yes again that question is not scored. It's just a buffer between this comparison question, and the coming relevant question number six. Have you damaged any United States government information or defense systems, again the expected answer is no, followed by another controller comparison question before date. Did you ever lie to cover something up. I can't be expected to answer it's no eight another relevant question. Have you had any unauthorized foreign contacts expected answer No,
Final question no comparison, or control question. Did you ever lie about someone behind his or her back. And again, the expected answer is no.
So again I
explained this a bit earlier, but the test is scored by comparing reactions to the relevant questions with reactions to the control questions. If reactions to the control questions are stronger, the subject passes. If reactions to the relevant questions are stronger. The subject fails.
The precise criteria
used for scoring polygraph charts, and for assessing the magnitude of various reactions is documented in the National Center for credibility assessment document titled test data analysis numerical evaluation scoring system. And you can get this document if you're interested from anti polygraph. org. It's on our document vault page.
After scoring the polygraph charts, the polygraph
operator will go into the post test phase. If you pass you typically won't be told that you passed, but you'll be told that you're done with, and you'll be dismissed and they'll tell you that you'll hear about the results later. If you fail. However, you can expect to be subjected to a post test interrogation. Now post test interrogation, the polygraph operator will confront the subject with the outcome and press for an admission or confession polygraph operators are trained in a variety of techniques for encouraging admissions.
they attempt to minimize the importance of that behavior. Regarding which they're seeking and admission or confession. One common technique that has been used especially by NSA polygraph operators, is to tell the subject that he can admit to anything at all except for murder, that if he's committed a murder. He can leave the room. There's no point in proceeding further like anything else will stay in the polygraph room and won't be
told anywhere else.
Of course, that's not true admissions or criminal criminal behavior may result in a referral to law enforcement. For more on the variety of interrogation tactics that are taught at the National Center for credibility assessment, see their interview and interrogation Handbook, which is available for download at the FBI polygraph.org document vault page. Let's now turn to polygraph countermeasures and how to pass or beat a polygraph test.
First, if you've
been accused of a crime and law enforcement wants you to take a polygraph, you should refuse it would be foolhardy to go into a polygraph interrogation, with a plan to beat it. The reason is that police often use the polygraph as a pretext for interrogating a suspect in the absence of legal counsel. The outcome can be a pre determined part of the interrogation plan. And you may fail and be subjected to a post test interrogation no matter what. Anything you say in the polygraph suite may be construed against you. You've got little to gain and potentially much to lose by agreeing to be interrogated without a lawyer.
An important aspect of
polygraph countermeasures. One that applies not just to the law enforcement pre employment test used by law enforcement agencies, but also to the relevant irrelevant test used by the CIA and NSA until the test for espionage and sabotage used by the Department of Defense and energy is your behavior comportment inside the polygraph suite key. You said you want to make no admissions. You don't want to sign any statements, you want to make a good first impression by arriving on time making eye contact with a polygraph operator, being courteous and cordial note in particular that it would be a mistake to attempt to discuss the scientific merits of calligraphy with your polygraph operator. The one tracing recorded by the polygraph instrument that you can directly control is breathing polygraph operators expect a person to breathe in and out between 15 and 30 times per minute. There are six breathing reactions that are recognized by the National Center for credibility assessment as indicative of deception. So what you want to do is produce one such reaction. Whenever you recognize that it's a control question, not a relevant question or irrelevant question
that is being asked of you.
The first reaction is also the easiest to reproduce. When you're done breathing out, just hold it for three to five seconds, and then resume oral breathing.
The second reaction
is a decrease in breathing rate. When you recognize that the question being asked is a control question. Just breathe slower for a few seconds and then resumed normal breathing. The third breathing reaction is a change in inhalation exhalation ratio. This can be achieved by simply breathing out more slowly than you breathe in for a few seconds after you recognize that the question being asked is a control question, not a relevant or irrelevant question. Fourth breathing reaction is a decrease in amplitude also called suppression. This can be accomplished by taking several shallower breaths, and then returning to your normal breathing. After a few seconds.
The fifth breathing
reaction is similar to the previous one, except that breathing gradually becomes shallower for a few seconds before returning to the baseline breathing
The sixth breathing pattern is a temporary increase in baseline. This can be accomplished by breathing in an extra bit of air, and then continuing to breathe normally for a few seconds, and then exhaling, the extra volume of air again and resuming your normal reading. An important thing to note is that none of these countermeasures involve deep breathing deep breathing is typically taken by polygraph operators as an indication of countermeasures used by this subject. Even though no one who understands polygraph procedure would actually attempt that.
You can also produce reactions on the electro dermal and cardio channels through mental activity. You want to do this as soon as you recognize that the question being asked is a control question. For example, you can perform mathematical calculations in your head as quickly as you can. You can pick an arbitrarily large number and count backwards by sevens or threes or any arbitrary number again as fast as you can. Or you can think exciting, and particularly scary thoughts. When the control question is asked, and again, maintain this for a few seconds.
As an alternative to
mental activity. You can also produce reactions by biting the side of your tongue hard enough to produce moderate pain, but not so hard as to cut your tongue. Again, you do this for a few seconds. As soon as you recognize that the question being asked is a control question. Through the use of breathing manipulations mental activity or tongue biting you can increase the chances that your reactions to the control questions will be stronger than any reaction to the relevant questions, thus increasing your chances of passing. Nonetheless, you may still be subjected to a post test interrogation.
When the relevant questions
as well as the irrelevant questions are being asked. You simply maintain your baseline breathing rate
You should be on your guard against mind games that the polygraph operator me engaging with you,
illustration you see here is of what's called my challenge coin, produced by the United States Secret Service's polygraph unit. It depicts a winged flaming skull with a slogan. Let the mind games begin. Ponder a moment, the mentality of the people who produced this item
in any post test
interrogation, you should not try to explain alleged responses to relevant questions. This is a fishing expedition,
seeking to get admissions.
In particular, if
you were asked what you were thinking about when a question was asked, you're approved apply should simply be. I was thinking about the question, and nothing more.
Silly similarly, if asked,
which question bothered you the most. The correct answer is that none of them bothered you.
If the post test becomes
accusatory, you're accused directly applying or withholding information. You should politely terminate the interrogation.
Now you may be thinking to yourself,
can't polygraph operators detect countermeasures.
Well, extensive documentation leaked to anti polygraph.org, including sensitive National Center for credibility assessment polygraph countermeasure documents indicate that the polygraph community has no coherent strategy for detecting the kinds of countermeasures that I've discussed with you here today. You can review these documents for yourself on anti polygraph dot orgs document vault page.
The Federal polygraph community's concern about its inability to detect polygraph countermeasures is reflected by the fact that in the last decade. It launched a major criminal investigation, targeting individuals who taught the public how to pass or beat a polygraph test. One of those individuals is Doug Williams of Oklahoma. Williams is a former polygraph operator who turned against calligraphy in 1979, and since then has been offering instruction on how to pass or beat the polygraph federal agents devised a sting operation to entrap him, and he ended up serving two years in federal prison. This is a picture of him. After his release from prison. Williams was under federal supervised release until a few days ago, and the terms of his release prevented him from engaging in any polygraph related activity. However, tomorrow, August 1 2020, he'll be resuming his instruction and lessons on how to pass or beat the polygraph. You can read more about his experience
at polygraph calm.
You can read more about
calligraphies scientific shortcomings federal polygraph policy polygraph procedure and polygraph countermeasures. You know our free book, the lie behind the lie detector, which is available for download in PDF EPUB
and Amazon Kindle formats. I'll
now be happy to address your questions. If you're not able to get your question in in the limited time available. You can reach anti polygraph.org privately, and securely via signal at area code, 202-810-2105, or by email at anti polygraph org at protonmail Comm. We're also on Twitter at AP, underscore, O RG.
Hey thanks for that talk GEORGE It was really enlightening. So a quick question for you, before we go into the live q&a I personally curiosity, how did you become so passionate as such a passionate advocate, regarding the perils of calligraphy.
Well I learned about it firsthand. When I told the truth on an FBI pre employment polygraph, but ended up being accused of lying, anyway. So that was in 1995 shortly after the FBI first began polygraphic applicants. And I was a graduate student at the time at UCLA so I went to the research library of several Medical Library the law library, and the general library finding everything I could read about polygraphs. And I learned that it has no scientific basis as
is widely understood by psychologists.
so I, at the time, just continued with my life. Knowing that polygraphs didn't work but about three years later in 1998. I discovered that what happened to me was happening to a lot of other people too, that the FBI in fact had a pre employment polygraph failure rate at the time of 20%. So I felt compelled that I had to go public, and share my experience with others. So I wrote, at first, a public statement about my experience which you'll find on added polygraph.org if you want to know all the gory details. Go to the personal statements page on anti polygraph.org and the third statement is my own. So, and since then, you know, in 1998 20% failure rate for FBI applicants that figure is now up mostly, most recently reported on the order of 50%.
One former FBI agent told me that
in. I think in Utah, it was a failure rate of more like closer to 75%. So,
that's the case, why are they still even used.
Well, the government, US government values the polygraph as a psychological tool for encouraging admissions, people going to the polygraph thinking that they need to divulge anything that might even be slightly embarrassing. Otherwise, they'll set off the machine and fail. So, for people who don't understand that it's a fraud. This can be very convincing. And they'll admit things to the polygraph operator that they'd never told anyone else. So, agencies like the CIA, FBI NSA, they value the polygraph. For that reason, and they can say well look we hired this person who did such and such a crime. I mean, we probably have to admit it. If we didn't do the polygraph. They, you know, we would have hired him, and think of all, how bad that would be. But what's not considered in that is the negative utility when you're using a test that's a fraud that doesn't work. What are the consequences well one of them is that you're turning away well qualified honest applicants. You're making them distrustful of the government. In the process, and you're also treating your employees in a demeaning way by pretending to assess their honesty and character, based on a fraud, as, which as I explained actually depends on the operator lying to the person who's been tested on that person remaining ignorant of polygraph procedure. So, I think it makes for bad public policy.
So, question from the audience, have there been any major changes to the polygraph test post Snowden, and have any of them been effective.
To my knowledge,
no, and we've got the manuals for
the most commonly used forum formats like that law enforcement pre employment test, most recent man we have published is from I think 2017 or 2016, which is post Snowden, and there were no changes made to that. In fact, calligraphy hasn't evolved in any significant way in 60 years. It's a computerization didn't add any validity to the underlying procedure for the use of directed light control questions, read, which is what the Department of Defense and Department of Energy do. Also the US Customs and Border Protection they're using. You're actually told to lie under control questions to think about time when you did some behavior and then deliberately lie about it.
That technique is about 30 years old.
But it didn't change anything.
Fundamentally, and then standby technique which I didn't go into in the presentation, but for the NSA and CIA is called the relevant irrelevant test. And that was taught to them by the polygraph pioneer Leonardo Keeler, back, back in the 40s and 50s, and the technique has not changed in any appreciable way. Since that time, I said I suspect the reason it hasn't is because they're getting admissions and that's the purpose of the polygraph so why change anything.
They're just doing more of them seems to know it.
another question for the audience, I've been told that it's not the polygraph that you have to be, it's actually the polygraph operator, even when the test itself is completed the operator may still continue to ask questions that could expose the subject. What are your feelings about that.
So I think
that's a simplistic viewpoint to say you don't fool the polygraph but the operator, because they actually do rely on the charts, especially in the law enforcement agencies like the FBI us Secret Service. The chart meetings are important. If you react strongly to a relevant question. You're going to fail, even if the polygraph operator thinks I do seem sincere and my question if this was a false positive. So, it is important to convince the operator that you're telling the truth, though, because if he thinks you're not telling the truth he can make you fail. There are there are ways. For example, by putting effort if you were to use an accusatory emphasis when asking the relevant question. you could make a nervous reaction in the subject more likely to happen. So, winning the trust of the polygraph operator is is very important. That's why, if you look at our free book the lie behind the lie detector, we devote a lot of time to behavioral countermeasures how to appear to be honest and truthful, how to avoid behaviors that polygraph operators and other interrogators are trained to believe are signs of deception.
So, Both are important the charts are important, especially with the probability control question tests, maybe less so. With irrelevant irrelevant tests used by CIA and NSA, in which they use global scoring done calligrapher can make a subjective decision on whether
whether to pass a person or not.
So another relative and more technical question for you from the public, what components of the interview are saved post interview and a polygraph test, wondering specifically about the OPM hack and if that data was stolen.
So, what, so what's done with the polygraph results.
Yeah. So, within I'm assuming that they mean that within the context of the polygraph test itself, you know, the information is collected the graphs the charts all of that what's actually saved post interview and cash somewhere so that,
to my knowledge, it's all saved by the polygraph unit of the agency involved. It costs little now to save that data. And I believe it stays with the agency for a long time for about as long as you know they want to know if someone applies for employment with them if they've been holographic before. So, for decades, it will be retained by that agency, the charts themselves to the best of my knowledge are not generally shared with other agencies, they will. I think likely stay with that agency. However, the results do get entered into databases. And I'm not sure in what detail there's two key ones for security clearances one is called scattered castles and the Department of Defense has one called j pass. So I think j pass will include polygraph pass or fail status and when.
So, for someone who's never had one taken and the question would be audience member, what is the average length and polygraph test I mean if you're subject to one what should you expect.
You should expect at least two hours for a pre employment polygraph, maybe three. In some cases, it could go on six hours, but that's not that's not so common,
usually two to three hours is what you can expect to spend with the polygraph operator,
and so is that length of time have anything to do with the likely likelihood that you're passing or not I mean, will they extend out if if they think that you're
saying well funny so you'll, you'll have a very good idea whether you've astronaut based on whether you're subjected to a post test interrogation. Because if the subject passes and typically. They're not interrogated except again with irrelevant irrelevant technique used by the CIA and NSA, those agencies accused almost every one of deception on the first polygraph session, and then they'll invite them back for a retest maybe the next day. Sometimes, a few weeks later they'll bring them back for, you know, one or two more follow up sessions where the interrogation continues. But with the FBI the technique I talked about their law enforcement pre employment test. If you're, if you don't get a post test interrogation it's a good sign your past. If you do get the interrogation then it'll go on longer, but again I advise everyone. Don't stick around for that interrogation because you've got nothing to gain. That's the polygraph operator trying to justify his job to be able to say, look, this person failed my test and I got this confession from him. In fact, they're, they're rated based on the, the number of confessions they get after a deceptive test. Really. Mm hmm yeah so they've got incentive to to get you to confess, and it creates a perverse incentive in fact for them to exaggerate. Anything that you tell them into just spin it into some sort of disqualifying admission. And then that becomes permanent federal record.
It's funny to think that that whole process could generate some sort of internal conspiracy type theory within the people who are taking the test. Yeah, so we've got just a minute or two left here so a couple last questions. Does it feel sometimes that you're fighting an unwinnable battle in this process and how can the hope 20 hacker community help. What can we do to help.
Okay, I think you can share what you know, have learned. Hopefully from from my talk with other people, I think right now in the minds of the public, more polygraphs means more security. And as long as that delusion persists, politicians will have little incentive to reform the law.
So, by sharing by sharing what you know,
That will help. And
if I could clarify one thing in the little time we've got left.
When you take a polygraph with one federal agency, they will share the results with other federal agencies, and so you apply with the CIA they call you a liar reject you. If you later go to even the State Department, which does not polygraph, they will learn that you failed a polygraph with the CIA, and it could adversely affect your chances of being hired there.
All right, well that's our time today George, thank you so much for your, your talk and use this question answer session on behalf of all the 2020 attendees and presenters and volunteers, we really want to thank you for sharing your passion with us today and enlighten us about this topic, and we look forward to seeing what you do next and your advocacy so Best of luck to you. Thank you to everyone in the audience please come back at the top of the hour for next talk, a hackers toolkit for global travel or how to try to travel anywhere on airline miles. Until then, keep on hacking. Back to you hope 2020 ground control.