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U.S. reportedly targeting people who say they can beat lie detectors

Aug. 17, 2013 at 6:43 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. government is cracking down on people who claim they can teach how to beat lie-detector tests, The Fresno Bee reports.

Sources told the newspaper two instructors were targeted by a federal sting. One man has pleaded guilty to federal charges while another remains under investigation.

The two allegedly had 5,000 students, including 20 who applied for jobs with the U.S. government and federal contractors, and 10 who were hired.

The government appears to be testing the theory that providing information on how to cheat lie detectors can, at least in some circumstances, be regarded as a crime and not as speech protected by the First Amendment, the Bee reported Friday. John Schwarz, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official, told a conference of polygraphers in June in Charlotte, N.C., that the investigation was unprecedented.

Instructors are said to provide techniques like mental arithmetic and controlled breathing in an effort to defeat the machines that measure nerve responses under questioning.

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