According to report from Politico.com, the CIA is allowing agents to do work on the side for the private sector. The new CIA policy will give large companies unprecedented access to the US government’s top intelligence experts.
Some of these active CIA agents did work for a hedge-fund consulting firm in the specialized area of “deception detection”.
Deception detection is a technique used to determine when people are lying based on clues from their conversations.
According to sources at the CIA, the policy is needed to stop the “brain-drain” of intelligence professionals in the agency, who leave for more lucrative jobs in the private sector. Former intelligence agents reportedly can double or triple their government salaries by working for corporations. The policy is intended to let CIA agents earn more money while staying in their government jobs.
So far, the CIA has not provided details as to how many agents have used it; how long the policy has been in place and what types of private sector jobs have been approved by the agency.
Federal employees are typically allowed to take side jobs in the private sector, under tight guidelines, that differ from department to department.
However, close connections between current and former CIA agents and one consulting firm reveal the level to which CIA intelligence techniques are being used by hedge funds and financial corporations.
A Boston consulting firm called Business Intelligence Advisors that specializes in deception detection was founded and is staffed by a number of retired CIA agents.
Some of Business Intelligence Advisors’ clients include Goldman Sachs and SAC Capital Advisors, according to sources at both companies.
Connections between BIA and the CIA are strong. The BIA name was specifically picked as a play on the CIA.
In fact, there are so many former CIA agents on the BIA payroll at BIA that some people wonder whether BIA is a private-sector extension of the CIA itself.
BIA even uses a disclaimer in some of its corporate materials to clarify that it is not run by the CIA.
Companies can retain BIA for $400,000 to $800,000 per year. BIA’s corporate clients get a variety of business intelligence services like “deception detection”.
BIA employees can teach business managers how to use the CIA’s investigative tools through a program called “Tactical Behavior Assessment.”
Tactical Behavior Assessment lets investigators to detect a person’s lies without hooking them to a polygraph machine. The target never knows that they are being tested for their honesty.
Tactical Behavior Assessment looks for verbal and nonverbal markers that people show when they are lying.
When people lie it causes a mental split in them called “cognitive dissonance,” which causes physical discomfort in them. As a result, when people lie, they tend to show signs of discomfort like squirming, fidgeting and body shifting.
BIA doesn’t just offer TBA training to companies. For a price, BIA employees will do the TBA analysis themselves.
BIA will often use their CIA-trained employees to dissect corporate-earnings conference calls.
Companies rely on these calls to put a good spin on quarterly business activities and future guidance.
BIA uses these question and answer calls to determine if a CEO or CFO is being evasive or lying to investors about the health of their business.
The business intelligence that BIA can gather from these calls is potentially worth millions of dollars to large investment firms that pay for the analysis and reports that BIA produces from these calls.
[ Source: Politico.com ]