Less so after this prosecution. It would be pretty stupid for the government to send undercover agents after him if his techniques didn't work. He'd be helping the government if he taught ineffective techniques to people to who wanted to lie to it. So either the government is very stupid (a real possibility, I admit) or his techniques work.
It is my opinion that much of modern LEO's abilities to solve crimes are based on maintaining a facade of authority built up by the common perception of their methods. Specifically I mean the methods of analysis like hand-writing analysis, polygraphs, and even more "scientific" methods like finger-prints or DNA evidence. These methods of investigation are often portrayed in popular media as 100% effective in providing proof, however their real rates of effectiveness are quite a bit lower.
Much of these techniques are not as effective as claimed or perceived, but are used as a tool to bring pressure to bear on criminals to cause them to implicate themselves indirectly or confess completely to their crimes.
Much crime is solved merely by rounding up the "likely suspects" and tricking them into thinking that the case is already solved and the criminal just has a chance to admit and gain some sort of ameliorative to their sentence.
Only slightly removed from your point - FBI profilers are completely bogus, they employ the same techniques as fortune tellers.
Many "fortune tellers" often admit, when directly asked, that what they do is little more than basic psychology and counseling. Being able to "cold read" what someone is concerned about - and know the perfect "Barnum Statements" to drop early on to get someone to reveal further key details - is something all psychologists tend to do, to various degrees.
Regarding the FBI and their "profilers"... isn't being able to read people very fast pretty much the very definition of the job? You don't wast time "profiling" someone if you have a mountain of obvious evidence you can use directly. You profile when there isn't sufficient evidence, and we need someone to make a guess on which of the various poor-quality leads should be investigated.
I would hope the FBI hires at least _some_ people with that kind of talent, and comparisons to psychics is likely a good thing, for once.
That said, this one decent idea by the FBI doesn't do much to offset all those unamerican "plea bargain" games, "asset forfeiture" thefts without a conviction, and countless other abuses of their power we've seen over the last few decades.
(to name one example of many)
No. FBI profilers don't even interact with suspects - they examine crime scene details and then make up a profile of the perpetrator that other agents and police then try to use as a lead.
In the end, though, they are similar to the "psychics" and confidence men; they need to quickly discover some key insights into a person's personality from (often VERY) limited data.
Also note: the very best cold-reading grifters/con-men don't have to interact with the suspect ("mark") either, sy least initially. It's part of how the mark is selected in the first place.
It should be noted especially loudly that the plea bargain is one of the most widely used (and most successful) technique of coercing an alleged criminal to implicate themselves, and that over 95% of federal court cases end as a result of a plea bargain.
The gamification of justice, where the only score that matters is convictions.
And a hell of a lot of force, backed by weapons and corrupt officials willing to "make an example" out of anyone who stands against their false authority.
Iwas in divorce court with my ex. I was required to pay her attorney fees, as such - I could not afford my own attorney.
As I was talking to the judge, her attorney was balking, sniffling and laughing at the things I was saying.
I stopped, turned to her and said "Excuse me, you're not being very professional"
She physically recoiled, and said "what!"
The judge said "I am sorry, what did he say"
The attorney said "I don't know - he mumbled and threatened me under his breath!"
THe bailiff began to scream at me and get in my face threatening to take me to jail.
I turned back to the judge and said "No I did not! I told her she was being unprofessional for making snide comments and sounds while I was discussing my case with you. There is audio recording of everything in this room. Replay the recording."
The judge dismissed the whole event, as she knew it were shenanigans on the part of the lawyer.
The bailiff continued to glare at me.
I gave the law firm a poor review on Yelp, Sagaria Law in San Jose, ca. Yelp kept removing it as Sagaria law kept contacting them about the reviews.
I will never respect or trust a lawyer again. This is endemic in our society.
The problem is that those attorneys are typically reserved for the rich, so most people don't interact with them, with the exception of some truly excellent public defenders and prosecutors.
With regard to your experience, I can't imagine an attorney not respecting the decorum of a court room like that. If I were the judge, I would have issued a warning and held her in contempt if it continued.
Further, if I found out that an attorney made a false allegation of a threat in my court room, I would report them for an ethics violation for lack of candor to the tribunal instantly. There is no room for that type of nonsense in a court of law.
I'm sorry about your experience. That attorney, who does not deserve the title, is both a poor lawyer and a terrible excuse for a human being.
In general, they are not reserved for anyone.
They just get tired of clients that won't pay, usually, after they told the client "it will cost 30k to do what you want, and you will lose anyway"
So they ask for larger and larger retainers, etc.
If you have had the fortune of having a lawyer do you well, good for you. I have never once experienced this. I have many examples to draw from.
EDIT: well well well, you're actually a lawyer. No wonder your bias.
* Didn't read my filings prior to court
* Forgot our conversations, and misrepresented my statements
* charged thousands, never showed up in court
* threatening me
* accusing me of threatening them (example cited)
* charging many thousands of dollars for retainer, while never doing any hours of work aside from a 30-minute phone call
* charging me telling me they could achieve a certain outcome, then telling me that there was nothing they could do and it was out of their control.
Yeah - fuck that.
Sure, there are bad lawyers like there are bad examples of anything else you care to name. It sucks that you've had a bad time of it, divorce court can't be fun.
But the fact that every interaction you've had seems negative - with your own lawyers, opposing lawyers, judges and even bailiffs (who are essentially non-legal admin/security staff) reveals a pattern. Eventually you have to ask: Is the whole world crazy, or just me?
Disclosure: I am a lawyer. I've had very difficult clients in the past. I generally get along well with clients, opposing counsel and even the opposing clients (to the extent we interact).
Most bar associations operate a referral service that weeds out lawyers with bad histories. You pay the bar ~$100 and they give you the contact info for the next lawyer in the queue who practices in the field you need.
At least this way you can be sure of getting a lawyer who does not have a history of screwing over any clients badly enough to get a complaint filed rather than a lawyer who did not screw over the one client who happens to be your friend.
That is good advice though ^_^
On what basis are you suggesting that one or two anecdotes don't allow me to completely profile an entire population of millions (in the case of gender Billions) of people?
In this case, the wife's lawyer appeared to believe that she was in a cultural milieu where it was acceptable practice, not only to jeer and snort on the sidelines, but to lie to the judge about what the OP said.
Further if the judge was ignoring you then file a complaint with chief judge.
Chances are nothing will come from a single complaint, but if a pattern emerges sanctions or even disbarment can be the result. I guarantee it will be more effective than a Yelp Review
Is there hard data on the failure rate of fingerprint evidence? That's quite interesting.
Brandon Mayfield is one example of a high-level failure in such analysis. He was implicated in the Madrid bombings by a finger-print and thus faced serious international terrorism charges despite being completely innocent.
Here's an article that touches on some of the issues, and also mentions some of Brandon Mayfield's experience:
A finger-print analyst in the linked article claims 98% efficacy, though there is no data to back up that number. With no standards and no apparent statistics to back up their successes and failures.
For some information see:
National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Institute of Justice, February 2012 report: "Latent Print Examination and Human Factors: Improving the Practice through a Systems Approach" (http://nij.gov/pubs-sum/latent-print-human-factors.htm)
In general there is a move towards probabilistic assessment of the strength of evidence (likelihood ratios), which offers a logically correct way of approaching problems in the forensic evaluation of evidence.
'No studies have proved definitively that fingerprints are unique. Likewise, it is unclear if prints change over time or vary depending on the amount of pressure applied. Statistical models and pattern-recognition software could go a long way toward answering these questions. Additionally, research is needed to expose error rates. The ACE-V method depends on two or more examiners reaching the same subjective conclusion, but doesn't require them to reach it the same way. In one recent experiment, veteran examiners looking twice at the same print came to different conclusions each time. "
"Do they work?" is one question.
But if you apply for a job at any of the intelligence agencies (NSA, CIA, etc.), you'll have to pass this test. So be prepared.
With proper sensors, a skilled technician, and good data analysis it's pretty accurate for specific questions (e.g. did you beat your wife), but terrible for general queries (e.g. do you have any desire to take any action which would cause damage to the United States, her government, or her interests.)
Soviet agents routinely beat the polygraph during the Cold War (see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldrich_Ames, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Klingberg)
The usefulness of the polygraph for clearance purposes relies mainly upon the fact that people believe it works. Over 90% of information used to deny clearances is derived from voluntary admissions during the polygraph.
The truth is that Snowden used one of these services, and so now the government is shutting them all down. The particular company that investigated him for his clearance in Pennsylvania, which employs about 1,500 people, is also facing likely shutdown and serious charges.
Maybe, maybe, functional MRIs will give us real lie detectors, but until then it's really just a way to scare people while they're questioned by a skilled interrogator.
That said, definitely wouldn't recommend trying to lie. A good investigator is a pretty damn good lie detector all by him or herself.
Also, can we finally agree that wire-fraud, mail-fraud, and obstruction of justice are ridiculously overly broad statutes that basically make federal criminal jurisdiction universal?
Dangerous for people taking the test or administering the test? Your comment seems ambivalent about the efficacy of tests.
>With proper sensors, a skilled technician, and good data analysis it's pretty accurate for specific questions... but terrible for general queries...
But is it accurate when used on people that have extensive training about how to beat the test?
>The usefulness of the polygraph for clearance purposes relies mainly upon the fact that people believe it works.
So why would telling people that it doesn't work be dangerous if it is "pretty accurate for specific questions?"
>That said, definitely wouldn't recommend trying to lie. A good investigator is a pretty damn good lie detector all by him or herself.
Good investigators have other skills use other things such as body language, speech patterns (e.g sudden shifts in tense when describing events), and facial micro-expressions (using systems such as FACS). So a good investigator wouldn't need a polygraph test.
Dangerous to the organizations that rely upon the test, in that lack of the belief in the efficacy of polygraphs decreases their usefulness as a screening tool.
>But is it accurate when used on people that have extensive training about how to beat the test?
No, its not particularly useful for any query if one has specific training in how to control one's physiological responses. The Soviets used general coaching, and I believe these modern firms are using biofeedback.
>So why would telling people that it doesn't work be dangerous if it is "pretty accurate for specific questions?"
The polygraph measures physiological indicators such as skin conductivity, heart rate, respiration, and muscle tension that are metrics of stress, stress being considered a proxy for deception.
The greatest effect of the polygraph coaching is that it reduces the subject's belief in the efficacy of the test, thereby reducing the stress response during the testing, which in turn makes untruthful responses appear truthful.
>Good investigators have other skills use other things such as body language, speech patterns (e.g sudden shifts in tense when describing events), and facial micro-expressions (using systems such as FACS). So a good investigator wouldn't need a polygraph test.
All of those are useful techniques, as is voice stress analysis which is supplanting polygraph in corporate security, but all can be fooled.
The biggest added advantage of all "objective" deception tests is that they increase stress on the subject, causing more indications of deception to leak through the facade. When people believe the tests aren't very effective, their efficacy decreases.
The future is in functional MRI technology. Memory and fabrication are two very different mental tasks, and I would imagine the difference should be detectable with current technology, although I'm certainly no expert.
The two firms I've seen in the space are Cephos and No Lie MRI, which are claiming ~97% accuracy (a useless number I realize, but the best I can find from their public information.)
Funny that you would use that gender-specific example. As if women didn't beat their husbands/boyfriends.
A fairly large statistical portion of domestic violence is female to male, and the stereotype of the wife-beater has certainly led to a lot of false prosecutions against men (falsely accused of being the aggressor) and situations that police ignored until a female assailant escalated to deadly force.
I used it because it's the standard placeholder of an unwitnessed violent crime in law enforcement discussions.
Perpetuating harmful stereotypes is not cool in any case.
Sincere apologies. I lieu of editing, since the time's elapsed, have some karma :)
The line from the movie Blow comes to mind:
Danbury wasn't a prison. It was a crime school. I went in with a Bachelor of Marijuana. Came out with a Doctorate of Cocaine.
IMO, a better strategy would be to prosecute everyone, including and preferably starting with those whose techniques are _not_ effective.
Following that line of logic, if we believe the government to be clever, then we can't draw conclusions as to the efficacy of his techniques, but if we believe the government to be naive or reactionary, then we should conclude that his techniques work.
Either way, the real method will find its way into the public domain sooner or later, and the only question is how easily accessible it'll be to the average joe.
In the video, a former Polygraph Examiner, Doug Williams coaches him on how to beat the test. Then they test Mr Shermer and he defeats the test easily.
Polygraphs are so prone to bad data, they should be retired ASAP. They're slightly more effective than dowsing rods. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowsing
In related news, Iraq spent $38 million on dowsing rods to "detect" bombs: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-11/in-iraq-the-...
How many lives have been lost or ruined due to lack of basic understanding of available science?
has several good tips on how to cheat polygraph tests. I actually strongly encourage everyone to read up on polygraph tests and how to cheat them, here's why: they've been wrong again and again, they've gotten innocent men in trouble. There's a very real probability that the polygraph can say you're lying even when you're not lying. To save yourself from getting caught by these pseduo-scientific tests if ever you're in the position, prepare yourself now, learn about the polygraph tests and how you can use them to your benefit.
This is because the polygraph doesn't measure incidents of lies, but it measures fear. Fear of wrongful conviction can be interpreted as lying, which is how it has gotten innocent people (not just men!) in trouble.
The good news is twofold:
1. It's seems not to be as difficult to fool a polygraph as it is to get code to compile.
2. You can measure some of the factors they look at. A heart rate monitor, for example, can aid in practicing raising your pulse.
First, you need someone capable of imitating a trained polygrapher. The simplest option is to hire one, but from what I know of polygraphy I'm pretty sure that a magician could do the job with a few hours study.
Second, you need an accurate simulation of real polygraphy equipment. Again, you can just pay for a test, or you can rig something up with a galvanometer, heart rate monitor, and spirometer.
Thirdly, as you said, you see to have "something riding on it." Hand a trusted confidant a quarter of your monthly income and tell them to give it to a charity antithetical to your beliefs if you fail the test.
Amazon carries a $100 USB polygraph machine, but most of the reviews say it gives the same readings regardless of whether you attach it to a person. Assembling your own stuff might make more sense.
So how can you know how to cheat them?
But if they are any good, then surely the technicians recognize false negatives. "Hah! You're trying to cheat the polygraph! That's a crime!"
It ain't Kafka anymore. It's USA. I can't believe I used to worry about redneck country cops and a few days taking it in the pokey. Might as well just take your chances with a RND function if you're detained now. Of course, if you're a young black male the algo is weighed heavily against you. Money buys a lot of decimal places.
I don't understand the basis of your question. To say "this test does not correlate with the phenomenon it purports to measure" is not the same as to say "this test is completely random".
Counting how many times a person says the word "baby" during an answer is a piss-poor way to tell if they're lying, in large part because that factor won't correlate strongly with deception. It would also be extremely easy to fool, by simply controlling how many times you say "baby".
“Teaching about the flaws of polygraph testing is not inherently illegal. […] Dixon was charged after he helped undercover agents learn to cheat the test after they told him specifically that they intended to lie as they applied for federal jobs.”
So Dixon’s charge isn’t simply helping people beat a government test. It’s aiding candidates in gaining government jobs, even though he knows that those candidates are unqualified for those jobs (according to official measures). I think that makes Dixon’s charging more understandable.
Now, one may disagree that the questions they ask in such tests are an accurate way of finding good candidates. I don’t know what sorts of questions they ask. But the government’s response is understable, because they believe that the tests really do qualify one for the job.
A bunch of sanctimonious posters on here will scream out the first amendment and the erosion of our rights but won't bother actually seeing this story for what it really is.
> even though he knows that those candidates are unqualified for those jobs
How would he know that? Is he familiar with the hiring criteria of every government agency?
Seems like a good story to justify shutting him down.
Is it cool to throw someone in jail for explaining the best way to lie?
Every thing is a nail to you people, waiting to be solved with the hammer of violence.
E.g., it's perfectly legal to write articles and teach classes and post YouTube videos on picking locks. Even if the knowledge you spread causes lock makers to lose money and their employees to lose jobs. Indeed, your teachings help society by exposing false security.
However, if someone tells you they are planning a burglary spree and tries to engage you to give a seminar on unusual locks, then you better tell them to take a hike, or you are prosecutable.
Criminalizing knowledge is bullshit. Why should the burden of ratting people out be placed on this dude? It is such bullshit.
Should it be illegal to tell people how to make meth? What about making alcohol? Should it have been illegal to teach people to make liquor in 1919? What about December 31st 11:59 PM 1918?
This whole thing is fucking stupid and the feds have way more interesting things to do than harass people for telling people how to cheat tests.
Its the same line of thought as suing gun manufacturers for murders or alcohol companies for drunk driving. It removes responsibility from the individual.
Not to mention this was a fucking manufactured crime. Glad every serious crime has been solved so we can bust a dude for teaching people to pass lie detector tests, which are unscientific pieces of garbage to begin with.
Dixon was obviously entrapped. That is to say, the feds threw a bunch of shills at him, who said basically, "teach me how to beat the machine so I can do something wrong". Dixon fell for it, pleaded guilty, and now is awaiting sentencing.
The interesting question is, what did Dixon do that caused the feds to go to such lengths to railroad him?
Entrapment would be like if an undercover officer put a gun to someone's head and told them to steal something, then arrested them for stealing. Or if an undercover officer became the leader of a peaceful activist movement, and then started preaching that they should get violent; then arrested all of the protesters that got violent.
It gets a little sticky in some cases, like the Portland bomber case. The undercover FBI agents kept asking him if he really wanted to do it. Looking at it one way you could say that they were discouraging him from doing it. On the other hand, he thought that they were terrorists, so even if he found himself in over his head, he would be unlikely to feel like he could back out at any time. Saying, "You can back out at any time," could just as easily be a ruse to test his resolve.
Again, the knowledge here isn't criminalized. What's criminalized is helping someone commit a crime. That makes you an accomplice. You cross that line from passing knowledge to participating and helping when you give knowledge knowing that the person intends to use it to commit a crime.
Knowledge isn't treated any differently than other kinds of help. E.g. Selling a gun isn't illegal. Selling a gun to someone who says he's going to murder his wife with it is illegal.
Please explain the rationale of using jail to punish someone for lying on a resume. How does that make the world a better place?
They would have to forge documents on top of lying on their resumes.
You're really drifting from lying to fraud.
Suppose I falsely claim I know CPR. My employer is now not liable if I fail to perform CPR correctly and kill somebody, since my fraud was criminal.
Pretty much anything remotely safety critical these days relies on some sort of licensing, so you would have to create a fake document certifying yourself.
Your example is so fucking contrived it isn't funny.
MS lobbying in WA.
Yes, that's called fraud.
"...to assume, intensify and retain control over the minds and wills of preclears. Fears of its abilities keep them in constant subjection. Its use can be so manipulated by cunningly phrased questions that almost any desired result can be obtained, and it is used unscrupulously to dominate students and staff alike. All the evil features of scientology are intensified where the E-meter is involved. When used in conjunction with hypnotic techniques, its evil impact is greatly increased. This simple electrical device is not, of course, the sole basis for the condemnation of scientology, but without the E-meter scientology would be partly disarmed."
The use of psychological manipulation tools works well for scientology. Polygraphy works better because it is backed by a larger community of supporters that are just as deceived as the subjects. Polygraphy has also benefited from decades of use in movies--ensuring much of the world's population now believes in the deception.
Famously (or infamously), a Scientologist examiner's opening question is usually "What are your lies? Everybody has lies, tell me about yours."
So, for example, mere publication of a book on polygraph countermeasures is probably protected speech, particularly if the information is presented as valuable data for public debate, rather than instructions for would-be criminals. (Don't take my word for it, and remember I said "probably.") But, if a person coaches individuals, and a reasonable person in the same position would suspect criminal intentions, then the coach is probably no longer engaging in protected speech.
One wonders, then, where the line is drawn. How much does one have to know about his students before it becomes actual knowledge of willful ignorance, both of which can result in conviction? One can reasonably assume that at least some percentage of all polygraph evaders do so in a context where it's criminal. How does this affect the legality of teaching countermeasures in a one-on-one context?
It turns out that the distinctions are subtle, and the case law complex. I would recommend the following read if you're interested in the finer points:
The above article doesn't provide a clear answer about teaching polygraph countermeasures, specifically. If anything, it shows that the outcome will depend on a lot of particulars of the case. I don't think one can answer the question in a general sense.
They convicted this guy largely on a technicality - that they happened to mention that they would be using the knowledge he was teaching them illegally. Even that is a stretch of the law. Next we'll have DEA agents walking into 7-11's buying skittles and Arizona watermelon fruit juice, saying the word "lean" to the checkout person, then indicting the 7-11 organization for complicity in illegal drug manufacturing if they sell the items.
If I'm teaching something and a student says they intend to use what I'm teaching to commit a crime am I legally required to do anything at that point?
Is it different if the student says they're going to use the education to cheat a background test as opposed to some other bad activity?
Is it different if the skills are generally considered more harmful (martial arts, lock picking) versus less harmful (bike riding, painting, gymnastics)?
No, but if you continue you become an accomplice.
This bit is very important: It's because he was teaching it with knowledge that the techniques would be used for nefarious and illegal things. This is arguably aiding criminal intent. IANAL, but that itself carries a very different connotation with his actions. If he was objectively teaching this to highlight the failures of the detector and showing that it can be beaten, but not directly aiding any criminal activity, it would have been different.
The moment he knew the "clients" were engaging in or about to engage in something illegal or legally dubious, he should have distanced himself.
And for proof, the article itself mentions that many others who do the same thing, highlight the inadequacies and teach ways to circumvent it, have thus far not been prosecuted.
Two questions (one being discussed already):
"pleaded guilty in December to wire fraud and obstruction of an agency proceeding"
1) I didn't see any mention of the wire fraud charges - can anyone clarify that part? (Over the phone or mail, but that would have to be fraud - in which case, they are saying his technique doesn't work. Which opens a different problem)
2) There are laws against aiding & abetting. If I teach you to crack a safe, it's freedom of speech. If you tell me, "teach me how to crack a safe because I'm planning to rob 1st National", I am absolutely an accomplice & will be charged
The story tries to paint this as a man being prosecuted for teaching a technique, but I don't see that at all.
Of course, the guy didn't just teach people how to manipulate them, he taught people who intended to defraud the state (in a manner of soaking). If he had just not cared about their intent, he wouldn't have a problem.
EDIT: Oh, sorry, I misread the original comment.
He's not being prosecuted for providing information generally on how to cheat a polygraph. He committed a crime when he willingly and knowingly aided actual criminals. (Ex. a federal agent with drug cartel ties.)
That's absolutely a crime. Just like it's legal to sell thallium, but it's certainly not legal to sell it to someone who tells me they intend to kill with it.
And it seems he didn't maintain plausible deniability.
(Bring on the downvotes.)
"Deserves"? Do you assign this moral priority only to the current snapshot of American law, or do you apply it to American law in general, or do you apply it to the laws of whatever country a person resides in?
>(Bring on the downvotes.)
I wouldn't have if you hadn't said that.
I actually think this moral judgement is irrespective of the legal environment. He knowingly, though not directly, aided a ruthless criminal organization. To me, that's immoral regardless of what country you reside in.
I mean, what scenario could they have been talking about where that advice would make the slightest bit of sense? Had he mentioned his brother before, and Dixon was advising him to backtrack ("My mistake, I thought he was my brother, but he's actually my fourth cousin twice removed")? Did CBP already independently know about him, and that they were related but somehow not know they were brothers?
I get that this was a sting, so the scenario in question was fictitious, but I cannot fathom a story the agent could have told Dixon where that would have been good advice. The only vaguely plausible explanation I can think of is that Dixon was trying to subtly trick the guy into getting caught by volunteering the connection unnecessarily.
Could you be more specific in what crimes he aided in? Falsifying polygraph test results isn't a crime, since the test results are inadmissible in court cases.
Yes it is: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1505
IANAL but that appears only to deal with the stuff dealt with here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1312 . That only applies to antitrust investigations.
So maybe that's not relevant statute in this case? What else could "obstruction of an agency proceeding" refer to?
For example, providing false identification to members of the Zetas drug cartel is definitely a crime (and, considering their penchant for bloodshed, a pretty despicable one). It's also whether the "convicted sex offenders" used his training to avoid capture for additional crimes (which would make him something of an accomplice).
Just not clear how we could defend a man who knowingly trained people doing some pretty nefarious things.
Obstruction of agency proceedings is (per 18 USC c 1505) "Whoever, with intent to avoid, evade, prevent, or obstruct compliance, in whole or in part, with any civil investigative demand duly and properly made under the Antitrust Civil Process Act, willfully withholds, misrepresents, removes from any place, conceals, covers up, destroys, mutilates, alters, or by other means falsifies any documentary material, answers to written interrogatories, or oral testimony, which is the subject of such demand; or attempts to do so or solicits another to do so".
I'm no lawyer, but that sounds to me like you would have to materially intervene in the actual agency proceedings not merely arm people with knowledge of things like breathing techniques. This strikes me as the same nonsense that used to be used against people that taught lockpicking.
Seems he was party to an evading an investigation by misrepresenting testimony. That is, knowingly helping somebody lie.
This reminds me of 18 USC § 1001, "Making false statements".
This could be used to go after other "polygraph countermeasure" purveyors. You would have to never advise clients to lie. "Don't lie, try to evade the question, etc."
First of all, what you have to do is determine which questions are "control" questions. These are questions where the interregator expects less than 100% honesty, and they use responses to these questions as a comparison when asking you the "relevant" questions. For example, they might ask "Have you ever lied to get out of trouble?", or "Have you ever revealed a secret told to you by a friend?" You use your false-positive triggers on these questions, exaggerating the response the interrogator will associate with deception. [Edit: To clarify, the point here is that you don't want to give the interrogator a high entropy data set; that would just lead to them thinking you were lying at random. You want their data to give a very specific indication: that you have been truthful on all relevant questions]
Secondly, the latest edition of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector notes that examiners have begun using sensors to attempt detect physical countermeasures, such as sensors to detect changes in weight distribution. It has not been determined if they are able to detect intentional anus constriction, but in the interest of caution, they advise sticking to mental countermeasures and tongue-biting, which definitely cannot be detected (although I would expect some attempt to detect the latter in the future).
Finally, it's really important to remember that these examiners are interrogators. The lie detector is a tool that they use, and in many ways it is a misdirection. One of its key purposes is to make you feel that they have an edge. Knowing that you can fool it is an important piece of the puzzle, but you must always remember that their bottom line is to get you to make damaging admissions. They are well-trained at this, and they will certainly use other techniques besides their toys.
It seems like otherwise you have something of a moral quandry. The lie detector is ineffective, so without instruction in countermeasures, a person guilty of one thing could still end up accused of another based on their performance. Whatever they're actually guilty of, that scenario is negative utility for everyone.
All this case does is point out how stupid polygraph tests are. Nothing more.
If, as the government claims, Chad Dixon taught methods that allow subjects of polygraphs to effectively cheat them, then polygraphs can easily be cheated. If polygraphs can be easily cheated then why is anyone relying on polygraphs for anything.
Polygraphs are part operational security theatre and part invasive intrusion on someone's personal life. As this sad story proves they offer little more.
Unless the students being taught told the instructors in advance that they were going to use the education to kill people and commit crimes, which is exactly what happened here.
That being said, I agree with everything else you said.
Now, getting a government job you’re unqualified for isn’t as bad as murdering someone, but it’s still a bad thing for society. Unqualified people in government jobs would presumably make the government run less efficiently with respect to taxpayer money, and less effectively, which could be especially bad if these government jobs help people.
The lie detector is ineffective, and "catching" someone based on it is not justice, regardless of their guilt.
Consider a thought experiment (which is admittedly loaded, but instructive, I think): suppose that the government is institutionally anti-Irish. During their interrogations, they routinely ask for documentation of family history, and if they find that you have Irish ancestry, that weighs heavily against you.
As an objector to this unjust state of affairs, you specialize in falsification of documents to obscure Irish ancestry. Some of your clients admit to you that they have in fact committed crimes, but you help them anyway. Have you "committed a horrible deed" in ensuring that their fate is not decided by non-evidence?
>Perhaps we as a society rely to much on this "so called" technology
I think that might just be the reason why they are going after this guy and not the rest.
It's one thing to talk about bank robberies, it's another thing to provide bank-robbery consultation services to bank robbers.
That charge has been used in a number of recent "hacking" cases, where it makes a bit more sense (though still over blown), but I can't quite figure out what it has to do with teaching people how to remain calm while being questioned.
Like, along with an oath, let a President take a lie-detector test.
Nobody should be subject to it, and its use should be banned. It should be no surprise that the widespread use of this technique has attracted sadists and other predatory individuals.
Better to research new mind reading style lie detection systems.
The government's hounding of him -- like their current hounding of Edward Snowden and their previous hounding of Aaron Schwartz -- is a naked assertion of dominance.