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By Gips, Michael A. | Security Management, October 2003 | Go to article overview

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Gips, Michael A., Security Management


As always, Security Management Online serves you the latest information pertinent to your job. Here's what's on tap this month. Also look for the @ sign in the magazine for more online links, and check out www.asisonline.org for Society programs and information.

Interviewing. Nonverbal cues can be as telling as verbal statements during interviews. But studies have shown that "suspicious" nonverbal behavior is often completely innocent. Special Agent Joe Navarro, a member of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Program of the National Security Division, has posited "an alternative paradigm for detecting deception based on four critical domains: comfort/discomfort, emphasis, synchrony, and perception management."

An article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin explains how this model works. First, people who lie show more signs of discomfort during interviews than those who tell the truth, Navarro writes. Signs of discomfort, and possible deceit, include fidgeting, welcoming disruptions, rubbing the temples or neck, blocking one's eyes, or stroking the back of the head with the hand. Second, when people are telling the truth, they often emphasize a point with body language. Liars, for the most part, don't. So, for example, punctuating remarks with hand gestures or by slapping one's knee suggests honesty, while pensive gestures such as stroking the chin may indicate otherwise. Third, the tone of the interviewer and honest interviewee should mirror each other after a while, Navarro contends. When the two sit differently or talk in different ways, that's often a sign of deceit. The same is true when the subject says one thing but gestures incongruously. Finally, Navarro writes that liars often use perception management to convince others of their honesty. For example, they might yawn, slouch, stretch their arms, or try in other ways to give the impression that they are bored, thus comfortable. @ Read the article via SM Online.

Aviation security. Even two years after 9-11, the U.S. nuclear security and safeguards program still needs help, according to the General Accounting Office (GAO). Reviewing the security posture of four nuclear weapons production sites and three national laboratories that design nuclear weapons, the GAO found weaknesses in four areas.

First, the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) "still has not fully defined clear roles and responsibilities for its headquarters and site operations," says the GAO report on the topic. Second, GAO auditors have identified inconsistencies on how contractors' security activities are assessed: "Consequently, NNSA cannot be assured that all facilities are subject to the comprehensive annual assessments that DOE policy requires," says the report. (In an appendix to the report, the NNSA disagrees with this conclusion.)

Third, the report says that NNSA contractors often fail to conduct required analyses in preparing their corrective action plans, so they may not be fully considering root causes of problems, risks posed, or cost-benefit issues. Last, the report finds that NNSA lacks sufficient staff to oversee security activities effectively. SM Online has the report.

Public area surveillance, Another GAO report examines the use of CCTV in Washington, D.C., to fight terrorism and considers the attendant privacy concerns of civil liberties advocates. The report examines the use of CCTV by both the district's Metropolitan Police Department and the United States Park Police. District police use the cameras on an as-needed basis for crowd control mad for counterterrorism surveillance during high alerts (Code Orange or higher). …

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