FAQs - NITV Federal Services | The manufacturer of the 'Computer Voice Stress Analyzer' - CVSA

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CVSA®II and how is it different from the CVSA®?

The CVSA®II is the “next-generation” of the software-based CVSA®. The original CVSA® was an analog instrument, which was sold from 1988 – 1997. The first software-based version of the CVSA® was introduced in 1997. The CVSA®II, which was released in January 2007, is based upon the technological advancements made by our R&D experts. The differences between the CVSA® and CVSA®II include: the addition of the FACT® Scoring System, the simplification of examiner-interfaces which reduce the time required to conduct examinations, and the capability to record live and telephonic examinations directly to the system’s hard drive.

What is FACT®?

FACT® is an acronym which stands for Final Analysis Confirmation Tool. It is the result of extensive research and development, encompassing thousands of hours of laboratory and field testing. The FACT® Scoring System uses advanced mathematical processes and a built-in “learning” feature to recognize, evaluate, categorize and quantify the output graphs from the CVSA®II. Extensive testing and validation trials of the first-generation FACT® have demonstrated an accuracy rate consistently exceeding 96%, with a false-positive rate of less than 0.7%. NITV Federal Services re-invests a large portion of its budget into research and development to ensure our products remain on the leading-edge of truth verification technology. Our commitment to Excellence in Technology, Training and Service® ensures the CVSA® will remain the leading Truth Verification instrument in the USA, now and in the future.

Will there be new versions of the CVSA® available in the future?

Yes, in fact the NFS is constantly working to improve the various versions of the CVSA®. In the future, as new technical and innovative developments are made to the CVSA®, they will be offered to our clients.

Does the CVSA® have a warranty?

Yes, the NFS offers an unlimited warranty and unlimited support for all our software products. Additionally, we work closely with our business partners and suppliers to ensure that warranties for hardware platforms which house the CVSA® software exceed industry standards. For instance, all of our Dell-based products offer a 4-year on-site warranty, accident protection and 24-hour support.

How many organizations use the CVSA®?

As of 2015, there are approximately 2,000 local, state, federal and International law enforcement/security agencies using the CVSA®. Additionally, the NFS has trained hundreds of US Military personnel. The CVSA® is currently being used under combat-conditions in military theaters worldwide. Further, the numbers of private CVSA® examiners are growing weekly. View More

What questions should I ask a VSA vendor before purchasing a VSA system?

Click here to download a list of questions

Why does the polygraph community continue to provide false and misleading information about the voice stress analysis technology when over 2,000 U.S. organizations, including many major law enforcement agencies, use the CVSA?

For decades US Government polygraph proponents, with the assistance of various polygraph organizations, have overwhelmed US law enforcement with questionable “studies” wrongly touting the polygraph as a scientifically valid instrument for determining truth and deception. Further, the primary backer of the polygraph – the US Federal Government, ensured for decades the polygraph and its supporters had a virtual “lie detection” monopoly in the US. A cottage industry of private polygraph examiners, private polygraph schools, academics and government bureaucrats burgeoned across the US based on this federally-supported monopoly. As with any monopoly, abuses against private citizens soon became common due to the unscrupulous practices of those the polygraph industry allowed within its ranks. Based on these abuses, Congress passed the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) of 1988, which was signed by President Reagan. The EPPA significantly limits the use of polygraphs in the private sector.

In the US alone, dozens of private polygraph schools teach conflicting methods for administering polygraphs, which has led to turmoil and a weakening of polygraph support by US law enforcement. Additionally, the numerous developers of polygraph devices, each trying to outdo the other, developed non-standardized instruments and peripherals, some of which have been found to be defective or highly inaccurate. Discrepancies in training, examination methodologies and instrumentation have led to a crisis in the US polygraph community, which is now under fire from those inside and outside the US Government. In fact, in recent years the US Government has spent tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars researching more effective techniques to determine truth and deception – which is a de facto admission by the US Government of the polygraph’s inadequacies.   

Returning to the questionable studies hyped by polygraph proponents, in a landmark 2003 studythe US National Academy of Sciences lambasted the so called “scientific” basis of the polygraph by stating unambiguously the majority of polygraph research was “unreliable, unscientific and biased,” concluding that over 70% (57 of 80) of the research studies frequently cited by US polygraph proponents were significantly flawed. The US Supreme Court echoed this sentiment when it ruled 8-1 against allowing polygraph evidence in state and federal courts, observing: “There is no consensus in the scientific community that polygraph evidence is reliable.”

Despite what those in the polygraph industry claim, in recent years US Government research has validated the human voice as being the most accurate channel for detecting truth and deception. The BORDERS project is just one example of the US Government’s support of using voice technology for credibility assessment. The list of independent, peer-reviewed, and published studies supporting the precision, reliability and accuracy of voice stress analysis technology continues to grow, while use of the polygraph by US and international law enforcement agencies continues its precipitous slide.

There is a simple reason polygraph proponents continue to attack voice stress analysis technology – namely because it works as stated and it is driving the polygraph out of business in the US, jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction. If the CVSA was not a threat to the polygraph industry they would ignore it, as they do all other forms of truth verification that compete with polygraph. In the US alone, there are approximately 1,800 law enforcement agencies using the CVSA daily to solve crimes. Worldwide there are over 2,000 agencies using the CVSA. In fact, within the US, only a handful of US Federal agencies, primarily those within DOD and DOJ, are required to use the old polygraph based solely upon antiquated “polygraph only” directives. These directives are subject to being repealed with the stroke of a pen, which many believe will happen in the future due to the continued high-profile failures of the polygraph. This includes the polygraph’s inability to detect Edward Snowden and Aldrich Ames as national security threats.

As for the CVSA, it is less than half the cost of polygraph, is far more accurate, and is three time more efficient than the polygraph. These facts are easy to verify – simply obtain a quote for a CVSA and training, and then get a quote for a polygraph and training. You will quickly learn the fabrications provided by the polygraph industry are not limited to fake price comparisons.

Don’t be tricked by the “unreliable, unscientific and biased” sales pitches being put forth by the pro-polygraph lobby. Investigate the CVSA for yourself and learn why the CVSA is the most widely used truth verification instrument in the world today.

What do top US scientific experts say about the use of the polygraph by the US Government?

According to a Bloomberg article that appeared in August 2015, even the most respected polygraph experts agree the polygraph is a blunt instrument when used for security screening, which is the predominant polygraph application of the US Government. Psychologist Dr. Charles Honts has conducted many of the studies that polygraph advocates cite. The Boise State University professor and former U.S. Department of Defense polygraph instructor and researcher states the way the US federal government employs the polygraph to screen for security clearances “causes me discomfort.”

“The test works best, Honts argues, when the questions are about specific events. Job screening questions, however, tend to be broad: “Have you committed serious crimes that went undiscovered?” or “Have you had unauthorized contact with a foreign national?” The difficulty is compounded, he says, in looking for spies or aspiring Edward Snowdens. “There are hundreds of thousands of people who work in the federal government who need security clearance,” he says. “How many people working for foreign governments apply for those jobs? If you’re looking for something that only occurs one-tenth of 1 percent of the time, running a test that’s 90 percent accurate doesn’t help you.” Depending on where you set your threshold, you either miss most of the spies or you cast suspicion on tens of thousands of innocent people. Sometimes you do both.

We don’t know how many good people we lose, and we don’t know how many bad people have gotten through and haven’t gotten caught,” Honts says. “And we don’t know whether the polygraph is at all predictive of either of those outcomes.”

To read the full Bloomberg article click here.

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