White Lies

NETANYA, Israel, Jan 8, 2007 (AFP) – Have you ever wondered if someone you are chatting to is telling the truth? New lie detector software from high-tech powerhouse Israel says it can show you — across the Internet.

“We tested it with the (former US president Bill) Clinton speech about his relationship with his intern Monica Lewinsky,” said Zvi Marom, head of the company behind the product.

“When he says ‘I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky’, the lie detector’s needle jumps through the roof,” said the founder and CEO of BATM Advanced Communications, a high-tech firm in an industrial park on the outskirts of Netanya on Israel’s northern coast.

Since signing a deal in December with Internet telephony giant Skype, the company’s server has crashed five times after tens of thousands of web users rushed to download the lie detector, offered for free.

“This is a really neat application, and the kind of thing we want to see more of,” said a statement from Paul Amery, director of the Skype Developer programme.

The six employees of BATM subsidiary KishKish (www.kishkish.com), in Israel and Bulgaria, developed the add-on, which has an interface resembling a real polygraph, compl