The Homeland Security Awards
By Trevor Free, Marketing —
Last Wednesday on Capitol Hill, hundreds of awards for recognition were given to various Homeland Security agents, each of whom played key roles this year in enhancing U.S. national security. Notable stories included secret service agents who stopped an armed man from getting onto the White House grounds, innovators who created agencies to promote diversity within Homeland Security, and three immigration agents who risked their lives to save immigrants attempting to enter into the United States on a fishing boat that crashed.
US Citizenship & Immigration Services
Another award of key interest was given—not to a person or group of agents, but, rather, to a department. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Intelligence Office received a unit award for developing important procedures to processing refugee applicants. This is the team that is, in part, responsible for the components that helped the Obama administration reach its goal of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees last year.
The important topic of the Syrian refugee crisis has many Americans wondering about the steps that the government takes to vet refugees that enter the US. Large teams in the Department of Homeland Security are dedicated to ensuring that refugees are vetted and background checked before they enter the country. Although the department aims to be thorough in its processing of information, many citizens are still skeptical of the effectiveness of such efforts, questioning whether or not these teams can weed out applicants that are not being truthful in the information that they provide to the government.
Polygraph vs. EyeDetect
Luckily, if in doubt, there are tools that the government can enlist to gather a better understanding of whether or not an applicant is being truthful. Immediately, one might think of a polygraph, or some kind of intense interrogation. However, governments have a new tool at their disposal that is more accurate than a polygraph, and more efficient than interrogation—this tool is called EyeDetect. EyeDetect is a new software-based lie detector that analyzes whether or not a candidate is telling the truth based on pupil dilation. Studies show that EyeDetect is significantly more accurate than a standard polygraph, and since EyeDetect is software based, it can be administered by anyone.
Needle in a Haystack
While these agencies are not currently using methods like EyeDetect in the processing of those they are suspicious of, the technology is currently being used by police departments and other governmental organizations. According to a former program manager at the U.S. Department of State “The polygraph is ideal for crime-specific incidents. But because of cost, invasiveness, training and upkeep, it can’t be used on a large scale. With EyeDetect, those costs can be reduced significantly. It’s non-invasive, quick, and results are immediate.”
Photo courtesy of Kurdistan Regional Government.