The Use (And Possible Misuse) Of Polygraphs

The Use (And Possible Misuse) Of Polygraphs

Are there limits on what a government agency can ask its employees and prospective employees? And if an agency learns of illegal activities by its employees or applicants, what responsibility does the agency have to report that behavior to proper authorities?

The use of polygraph testing by federal agencies has grown dramatically in the last decade, despite the concerns of many scientists who still question the validity of the testing method. A new investigative series by McClatchy Newspapers highlights one agency's use of lie detector tests on their current and prospective employees, and asks whether the agency's actions are legal. It also explores what responsibilities the government has should it uncover criminal behavior. Join Kojo to explore how polygraph tests are used within the government, whether national security concerns changed their role and the extent of responsibility the government takes on when reaching into an individual's private life.


Marisa Taylor

Investigative Reporter, McClatchy Newspapers

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.