Renewed Focus on Legality of Polygraph Exams
The legality and usefulness of polygraph examinations in security clearance investigations again is in focus after a recent McClatchy news article revealing alleged polygraph-test abuses at the Department of Defense’s National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
NRO polygraphers reportedly were pressured by security clearance adjudicators to ask about personal lifestyle, outside the permitted scope of their investigations. In one case, an examiner who refused had his security clearance revoked.
“It’s very difficult to hold [polygraph programs] accountable,” said National security lawyer Mark Zaid, which is why ClearedCommunity.com established its ClearanceWatch Message Board, to field volunteered reports of abuse.
In related news, the Director of National Intelligence in late June authorized inclusion of a specific question on polygraph exams regarding the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. (hat tip: Secrecy News)