California Judge Suggests Apple Computer Should Have Used Lie Detectors to Find Leaker

Thumbs down to California Court of Appeal Associate Justice Franklin D. Elia, who yesterday suggested that Apple Computer, which is seeking access to e-mail archives that could help identify an employee believed to have leaked trade secrets, should have done due diligence by subjecting its employees to lie detector testing to find the leaker.

Matthew Honan reports in Macworld:

Noting that Apple had neither subjected its employees to a lie detector test, nor had them deposed under oath in order to find the guilty party, Elia also speculated as to the court’s role in the case.

“All you want is the name of the—excuse me—the snitch,” said Elia. “We are not here to be the super personnel committee for your company.”

To begin with, lie detectors don’t work. Moreover, under the federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act, private employers, like Apple Computer, may not compel their employees to submit to such pseudoscientific nonsense. Judge Elia should know better.

Moscow Airport Says Passenger Screening Device Doesn’t Detect Lies: It Reads Minds

On 6 April 2006, Adrian Blomfield of the Daily Telegraph reported that Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport would soon begin requiring passengers to submit to voice-based lie detector “testing” in an attempt to identify terrorists and drug smugglers. The device, Nemesysco’s GK-1 Security Access Control System, is completely unsupported by any peer-reviewed scientific research whatsoever. Now, in an apparent attempt at public relations damage control, Domodedovo Airport’s press office has issued a press release explaining that “GK-1 is not a lie detector…. GK-1 is a system … trying to detect whether [a person] is about to commit a crime.” So it’s not a lie detector, it’s a mind reader. Got it?

Here is the full text of the press release:

MOSCOW (RNWire) – In response to some media reports, in which the GK-1 multilevel voice analysis system was erroneously referred to as a lie detector system, the press service of Domodedovo International Airport states that these systems cannot be treated as analogous. GK-1 is based on the latest computer technologies and is a further development of the traditional profiling system.

Profiling is a preliminary interviewing by trained specialists, who analyze a persons’ look, responses and behavior. This method is actively used by security services of the world largest airports and airlines in order to prevent terrorist attacks and  transportation of illegal items and substances.

GK-1 is a system automating profiling methods and increasing profiling effectiveness. This is achieved, for instance, through exclusion of the so called human factor effect, i.e. mistakes made as a result of tiredness, possible collusion, etc.

GK-1 is not a lie detector, which is focused on an important question. GK-1 is a system performing multilevel analysis of emotional aspects of a person’s voice, trying to detect whether he/she is about to commit a crime. In contrast to cases, when a crime has already been committed, the intention to commit a crime leads to a unique psychological and emotional state which can be detected by GK-1.

The checks with the use of the afore-said technology will be made selectively and under control of Domodedovo Aviation Security specialists and representative of the federal authorities. Suspicious passengers will be offered to voluntarily undergo such a test. A passenger may be denied boarding if he/she refuses to undergo a test.

GK-1 interviewing is performed in an automatic mode. Questions won’t be of personal nature and will not prejudice the person’s rights. Such interviewing is related only to prevention of terrorist attacks and transportation of illegal items and substances.

In the course of pilot operations the content and the number of questions (from three to five in accordance with the plan) may be changed in order to improve the system’s effectiveness.

The possibility and advisability of the large-scale use of GK-1 system at Domodedovo will be determined on the basis of the pilot operations’ results. The use of such a system will not cause inconveniencies to the airport visitors. On the contrary, the successful introduction of GK-1 will lead to a reduction of checks currently performed at the airport, which will improve passenger comfort.

Press Service of Domodedovo International Airport would like to draw your attention to the fact that the airport is responsible for security of all airport visitors, including passengers and people coming to meet relatives and friends at the airport. This explains the necessity to continuously improve the security system.

GK-1 multilevel voice analysis system was developed by NEMESYSCO (Israel). The company’s representative in Russia is Urbis Management Systems Software. The testing which has been carried out by Domodedovo Aviation Security, Areopag-Center, and Drug Smuggling Prevention Department of Domodedovo Customs Authorities at Domodedovo Airport for several months, confirmed that the system can be effectively used in the security zones to prevent terrorist attacks, illegal traffic of arms, ammunition, explosives, poisonous substances and drugs.

For discussion of Domodeovo Airport’s regrettable decision to field this Emperor’s New Clothes pseudo-technology, see Lie the Friendly Skies on the AntiPolygraph.org message board.

Lie detectors raise doubts

Northwest Indiana Times reporter Bob Kasada reports on Computer Voice Stress Analysis.

This story ran on nwitimes.com on Saturday, April 15, 2006 12:42 AM CDT

Lie detectors raise doubts

BY BOB KASARDA
bkasarda@nwitimes.com
219.462.5151

Portage police Detective Capt. Terry Swickard has a lot of confidence in the department’s computer voice stress analyzer.

The results of the high-tech lie detector test are not admissible in court, he said, but they have helped guide investigations toward convictions and the release of innocent suspects.

As a result, Swickard was not at all swayed by news of a Pentagon-sponsored study that concluded the technology performs at chance level and is ineffective in detecting the presence of deception or stress.

The study verified earlier findings, which had led the U.S. Department of Defense to no longer use voice stress analyzers, according to a spokesperson, who said it is policy not to be identified by name.

The computer voice stress analyzer, which is among two types of units evaluated in the University of Florida study, is used by police departments in Porter and Lake counties.

The maker of the units, National Institute for Truth Verification of West Palm Beach, Fla., said in a prepared statement that this and earlier studies are flawed because they are unable to produce the same type of jeopardy experienced by those undergoing the voice test in real-life situations.

The authors of the study said they prepared for this concern by factoring in the lack of “real-world” stress as part of their evaluation.

The National Institute for Truth Verification said 1,500 law enforcement agencies have relied on the units over the past 18 years and that an independent survey of agencies reported an accuracy rate of over 91 percent.

Porter Police Chief James Spanier, who was undergoing training with the computer voice stress analyzer at the time of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said there must be some consequence for lying in order for the tests to be effective.

He also said the results are only as good as the questions asked.

Defense attorney Larry Rogers said he has been aware of the criticism of the tests for several years and is not surprised by the defensive responses from police.

If police were to admit the faults with the technology, they would be opening themselves up to liability and objections over the waste of tax dollars, he said.

Each computer voice stress analyzer unit costs $10,000 and six-days of training runs $1,440 per person, said Bill Endler, director of NITV. Endler is a retired police chief from Syracuse, Ind., and has worked at other departments around the state.

Rogers said he advises all his clients to exercise their right to refuse the voice stress test.

“You might as well use a Ouija board,” he said.

Michael Higgins, spokesman for the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, said the Pentagon study will have no impact on the department, which has five certified voice stress operators.

Federal Psychophysiological Detection of Deception Examiner Handbook

Federal PDD Examiner Handbook

On 11 April 2006, AntiPolygraph.org posted the U.S. federal government’s official polygraph handbook, formally titled the Federal Psychophysiological Detection of Deception Examiner Handbook (1mb PDF) dated 1 March 2004. A discussion of this document is available on the AntiPolygraph.org message board here.

In addition, we also made available a Department of Defense Polygraph Institute instructional document dated August 2004 outlining DoDPI’s “Numerical Evaluation Scoring System” (188kb PDF). A discussion of this document is available on the AntiPolygraph.org message board here.

Welcome to the AntiPolygraph.org News

After more than five years of manually updating the Polygraph News page on AntiPolygraph.org, we’re moving to a weblog or “blog” format for linking to and commenting on polygraph, voice stress, and other “lie detector” related news. We hope you will enjoy the change. The old polygraph news pages will remain available, but will no longer be updated.