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Security Clearance

A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information. Those trying to get a clearance may have questions such as how does one go about attaining a clearance? And, what are the different levels? As well as other questions. This area will allow those that have clearances offer advice and suggestions to those inquiring about clearances or upgrading their clearances.

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Greg  
#1 Posted : Thursday, December 15, 2011 11:52:38 PM(UTC)
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Always wondered this. I will be looking to get my TS in the near future the deeper I go into IT. I'm sure at some point I will need a Poly. Just curious about what they ask.
the rock99  
#2 Posted : Friday, December 16, 2011 12:42:19 AM(UTC)

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the kind that you have to sign a non disclosure agreement to hear.
 
Anything is fair game.
the rock992011-12-16 08:52:06
polypasser  
#3 Posted : Friday, December 16, 2011 12:48:14 AM(UTC)

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depends on the type of poly.


indy_phal  
#4 Posted : Friday, December 16, 2011 2:38:10 AM(UTC)

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Look up counterintelligence poly and lifestyles poly.  The questions are different depending on which poly you need.  The first one is more restricted, and the second delves more into your personal life.

Be forewarned, one question you can expect to be asked is whether you have ever researched polygraph countermeasures.  We've all done our fair bit of googling out of curiosity, but you want to be able to reply with at least a marginally confident "no."  Being suspected of countermeasures is grounds for a failed poly.
~Security clearance 101~<br />How long does clearance take?: http://goo.gl/i9ATd<br />Adjudication criteria: http://goo.gl/OLNlN<br />DOHA verdicts (appeals): http://goo.gl/MqAZL
midwest71  
#5 Posted : Friday, December 16, 2011 5:14:34 AM(UTC)

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Do CI and Full Scope go back 5 years?  7 years?  Until 18?



Greg  
#6 Posted : Friday, December 16, 2011 6:38:14 AM(UTC)
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Ok. Well i'm not worried about it. I'll answer all questions honestly. May surprise the hell out of them with some of my answers but it'll be honest. lol
chili.relleno  
#7 Posted : Friday, December 16, 2011 10:01:26 PM(UTC)

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midwest71 wrote:
Do CI and Full Scope go back 5 years?  7 years?  Until 18?




The SF-86 questions go back either 7 or 10 years depending if it's S or TS.  The investigation can go back further depending on where the findings lead the investigator.  Some questions are "ever" questions that go back further than the 7 or 10 year scope.

The poly is a different matter.  It's not called "full scope" for nothing.  They can ask about anything as far back as they want (probably with a cutoff at age 18).  Say you were fired for cause from a job 15 years ago.  It won't show up on the SF-86 because they only go back 10 years at the most. 
However, in a poly they'll ask if you were EVER fired.  You have to be prepared for this sort of thing.




chili.relleno2011-12-17 06:08:46
SkyIA  
#8 Posted : Saturday, December 17, 2011 12:20:05 PM(UTC)
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indy_phal wrote:
Look up counterintelligence poly and lifestyles poly.  The questions are different depending on which poly you need.  The first one is more restricted, and the second delves more into your personal life.

Be forewarned, one question you can expect to be asked is whether you have ever researched polygraph countermeasures.  We've all done our fair bit of googling out of curiosity, but you want to be able to reply with at least a marginally confident "no."  Being suspected of countermeasures is grounds for a failed poly.


Just out of curiosity, if you've never taken one before, how can you know they ask that question?

It's self-fulfilling. The only way you even know that they would ask such a question is through testimony on many of the Poly CM websites.

If they ask you that question, and you have been to websites that peddle that stuff, do the smart thing and say yes. Browsing is a lot different than studying up on it. I have to ask what your basis is here, when you suggest that even acknowledging their existence and the possibility you bumped into one of those sites is just a tripwire that makes you 'fail' a polygraph. From what I understand, 'failing' means trying to cheat the session OR indication of deception. Saying 'no' to that question when you really have spent time on those sites meets both criteria.

Tread carefully, from what you said in the adjudication thread, you're going to be going through this real soon. I highly doubt in the youtube age, the investigators are going to 'suspect countermeasures' and auto DQ someone who just knows of those their existence. Those kinds of things are parodied in pop culture as well.
Zephyrus  
#9 Posted : Saturday, December 17, 2011 8:24:48 PM(UTC)

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SkyIA wrote:
indy_phal wrote:
Be forewarned, one question you can expect to be asked is whether you have ever researched polygraph countermeasures.  We've all done our fair bit of googling out of curiosity, but you want to be able to reply with at least a marginally confident "no."


Browsing is a lot different than studying up on it.

Researched, Googled, Browsed, Studied Up, etc.

This all reminds me of the now infamous legalistic hair splitting quote, "It depends on what your definition of **IS** is."
indy_phal  
#10 Posted : Sunday, December 18, 2011 12:37:25 AM(UTC)

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indy_phal2012-02-21 20:04:58
~Security clearance 101~<br />How long does clearance take?: http://goo.gl/i9ATd<br />Adjudication criteria: http://goo.gl/OLNlN<br />DOHA verdicts (appeals): http://goo.gl/MqAZL
Shaudius  
#11 Posted : Sunday, December 18, 2011 1:29:03 AM(UTC)

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SkyIA wrote:
indy_phal wrote:
Look up counterintelligence poly and lifestyles poly.  The questions are different depending on which poly you need.  The first one is more restricted, and the second delves more into your personal life.

Be forewarned, one question you can expect to be asked is whether you have ever researched polygraph countermeasures.  We've all done our fair bit of googling out of curiosity, but you want to be able to reply with at least a marginally confident "no."  Being suspected of countermeasures is grounds for a failed poly.


Just out of curiosity, if you've never taken one before, how can you know they ask that question?

It's self-fulfilling. The only way you even know that they would ask such a question is through testimony on many of the Poly CM websites.

If they ask you that question, and you have been to websites that peddle that stuff, do the smart thing and say yes. Browsing is a lot different than studying up on it. I have to ask what your basis is here, when you suggest that even acknowledging their existence and the possibility you bumped into one of those sites is just a tripwire that makes you 'fail' a polygraph. From what I understand, 'failing' means trying to cheat the session OR indication of deception. Saying 'no' to that question when you really have spent time on those sites meets both criteria.

Tread carefully, from what you said in the adjudication thread, you're going to be going through this real soon. I highly doubt in the youtube age, the investigators are going to 'suspect countermeasures' and auto DQ someone who just knows of those their existence. Those kinds of things are parodied in pop culture as well.

Well now its not self fulfilling, I know that they ask that question, but I can answer confidently that I've never researched polygraph countermeasures. It is possible, through forums such as this, to find answers and information would specifically researching them. Just clicking on this thread is not research into polygraph countermeasures per se(unless you came upon it through searching Google for how to evade a polygraph). 
liaisonguy  
#12 Posted : Sunday, December 18, 2011 1:10:50 PM(UTC)

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The idea that knowing about counter measures is grounds for automatic failure is mistaken.   Maybe they did that back in the day before the www made all this available to the masses in three clicks or less. 
Regardless whether an examinee knows what countermeasures are, if the examiner's opinion is the ol' polygraph  ouija board shows countermeasures, you'll be accused of using them.  A defense of "I don't know what countermeasures are" is a non-starter.  So go ahead and read about them all you want.  But don't even consider using them.  That'd be career ending.   Some people have nervousness that causes all kinds of weird physical reactions that are involuntary, and those fools, er... polygraph technicians, immediately jump to the countermeasure accusation.  That's their training, so they can't help being a-holes.  Good times. 
NYGrad1  
#13 Posted : Monday, December 19, 2011 3:24:37 AM(UTC)

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just be honest. even when they ask about CM. just don't use them. they can literally ask about anything in a full scope poly. be ready to spend multiple hours answering questions that start out broad and get specific. if you need clarification, like what constitutes a foreign contact (means different things to diff agencies), then ask. bring a watch and eat a good breakfast. 
midwest71  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, December 27, 2011 5:42:26 PM(UTC)

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I am not sure about the time frame in the response.  I always thought "full scope" referred to the fact that this kind of polygraph session included both CI and Lifestyle questions, rather than referring to a time limit.  In addition, according to the NSA's own polygraph brochure, available to applicants and online, they emphasize 7 years. 



Winston Smith  
#15 Posted : Saturday, January 7, 2012 9:18:39 AM(UTC)

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Congressional testimony indicates that scientific concensus is that the polygraphy is little better than random for discerning lies.
 
So why do they still use it ?.  Two main reasons:
1.  Mainly,  as a prop to induce the person being interrogated to make admissions to the polygraph operator.  E.g., "The polygraph says you are lying,  come clean and we will go easy on you."   You may be brought back repeatedly for this treatment.   As long as you don't "come clean" they will likely give you a pass.
 
2. Secondarily,  to establish a pattern of evasion.  That is, if it looks like you are doing something to fool the polygraph (breathing, etc.),  this will be interpreted as an indication that you are trying to hide something.    This is why Israeli spy Johnathon Pollard was advised by his handlers to "just get a good night's sleep" when he asked for advice on how to beat an upcoming polygraph.  
fedsRule  
#16 Posted : Sunday, January 8, 2012 12:25:39 PM(UTC)

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Winston Smith wrote:

Congressional testimony indicates that scientific concensus is that the polygraphy is little better than random for discerning lies.
 
So why do they still use it ?.  Two main reasons:
1.  Mainly,  as a prop to induce the person being interrogated to make admissions to the polygraph operator.  E.g., "The polygraph says you are lying,  come clean and we will go easy on you."   You may be brought back repeatedly for this treatment.   As long as you don't "come clean" they will likely give you a pass.
 
2. Secondarily,  to establish a pattern of evasion.  That is, if it looks like you are doing something to fool the polygraph (breathing, etc.),  this will be interpreted as an indication that you are trying to hide something.    This is why Israeli spy Johnathon Pollard was advised by his handlers to "just get a good night's sleep" when he asked for advice on how to beat an upcoming polygraph.  


This forum is for three groups of people: retired federal employees, current federal employees, and people who want a federal job.  Since you're none of the three, I have to wonder what you're still doing here.
Winston Smith  
#17 Posted : Sunday, January 8, 2012 10:38:12 PM(UTC)

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fedsRule wrote:

Winston Smith wrote:

Congressional testimony indicates that scientific concensus is that the polygraphy is little better than random for discerning lies.
 
So why do they still use it ?.  Two main reasons:
1.  Mainly,  as a prop to induce the person being interrogated to make admissions to the polygraph operator.  E.g., "The polygraph says you are lying,  come clean and we will go easy on you."   You may be brought back repeatedly for this treatment.   As long as you don't "come clean" they will likely give you a pass.
 
2. Secondarily,  to establish a pattern of evasion.  That is, if it looks like you are doing something to fool the polygraph (breathing, etc.),  this will be interpreted as an indication that you are trying to hide something.    This is why Israeli spy Johnathon Pollard was advised by his handlers to "just get a good night's sleep" when he asked for advice on how to beat an upcoming polygraph.  


This forum is for three groups of people: retired federal employees, current federal employees, and people who want a federal job.  Since you're none of the three, I have to wonder what you're still doing here.
 
As you already know,  I was called in because of my forensic background when a rather naive relative got ground up in the system because of its lack of transparancy    Hate to let my investigation go to waste.   So I post the results here to save others the experience.   The issue here is not my motivations,  but whether I am right or not.   Argue that,  if you can.
 
BTW,  the things I say about the polygraph are from congressional testimony.   Also notice that my advice is that,  whatever you do,  don't try to "beat" the polygraph.   This is because, while it is poor for detecting lies,  it is much better for detecting evasive techniques.    You object to this advice ? 
blueRoo  
#18 Posted : Saturday, January 14, 2012 11:00:43 AM(UTC)

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mrgregory29 wrote:
Always wondered this. I will be looking to get my TS in the near future the deeper I go into IT. I'm sure at some point I will need a Poly. Just curious about what they ask.

If you are getting info from someone who has ACTUALLY taken a poly test, then you should know that you aren't getting an answer you want to hear, because the polygraph requires that you NOT disclose anything covered in a polygraph test.

Kind of a catch 22 you might say.

So just keep guessing what is asked.

Hint:  Don't get yourself all worked up about it.  Just do what you plan:  Be relaxed and honest.  Answer all of the questions asked of you to the best of your ability.  And you will be fine.  How's that for an answer to "What do they ask?"
Disclaimer: I've been told that I give POUNDS of bad advice about apparently everything, thus -- Take anything I say here with a pound of salt and ask someone else instead.
blueRoo  
#19 Posted : Saturday, January 14, 2012 11:18:31 AM(UTC)

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LOL, I think I'd like to have a "full-scope" background polygraph.  I like to "chat" about anything, and I'm sure I could red-face the polygrapher much more than the other way around.  I tend to be brutally honest.  Frankly, there are some things in my background I don't like to discuss, but if someone really wanted to know the specific details, I'd give them the specific details.  I'd almost get a bunch of satisfaction in seeing just how squirmy I could make the other side in divulging extreme play by play details.  I'd look at it as kind of like therapy, you know?
Disclaimer: I've been told that I give POUNDS of bad advice about apparently everything, thus -- Take anything I say here with a pound of salt and ask someone else instead.
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