The video above presents the trailer for a new documentary called "Terms and Conditions May Apply." I have not seen it yet, although the preview is plenty scary on its own. To watch the full work, go here
On a very related note: I should have commented on this story
earlier; it appeared about a week ago.
Federal officials gathered the information from the customer records of two men who were under criminal investigation for purportedly teaching people how to pass lie detector tests. The officials then distributed a list of 4,904 people – along with many of their Social Security numbers, addresses and professions – to nearly 30 federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
Although the polygraph-beating techniques are unproven, authorities hoped to find government employees or applicants who might have tried to use them to lie during the tests required for security clearances.
That's bad enough. But it turns out that many of the people who made the list were not government employees or prospective employees.
Among the people whose personal details were collected were nurses, firefighters, police officers and private attorneys, McClatchy learned. Also included: a psychologist, a cancer researcher and employees of Rite Aid, Paramount Pictures, the American Red Cross and Georgetown University.
Now, I've read a number of articles about the polygraph and how to beat it. I've never taken a lie detector test and probably never will, but the issue of polygraph reliability often comes up when you do political research. (If memory serves, Clifford Irving -- the Howard Hughes hoaxer -- skewed the polygraph results by raising his anxiety levels during the control questions.) In short: The oft-debated question of the polygraph's fallibility is intellectually intriguing, and one needs no further justification to study that topic. Or any other
We are heading toward tyranny if we cannot read whatever we wish without fear of ending up on a government list. It's your own damned business if you want to fill your personal library with volumes like How to Build Thermonuclear Weapons With Parts From Home Depot
and Allah Wants You to Kill Jews
. However questionable or vile your reading interests, I still say that Uncle Sam has no business keeping track of what you read.