Two guards in tow, he staggers into the dark windowed box wearing an orange jumpsuit with the prison initials embroidered on the back; his face is a grizzled, unkempt mess and there is a smell of bad blood drifting from him as he fidgets against his captors and rattles his handcuffs. This man is at least six feet tall and built like a giant; his hands the size of cymbals; two guards are not nearly enough to keep him from falling over as the drug courses through him…
This is Mr. Aron D. Ivanov, a technological mastermind from the cold motherland of Russia. He was convicted on sixty accounts of treason and felony against the U.S. government, including fraud and infilrating the CIA and FBI’s secured systems and leaking information out to the public and launching a nation wide computer virus that took out millions of machines and picked up credit card information and passwords to thousands of email accounts.
So the biggest, baddest criminal in the world has now been caught and here I am with a chance to get some valuable information out of him. In my hand is the ultimate secret weapon: a vile of truth serum. It can instantly bring out the most well-guarded secrets in this cold hearted terrorist. I must use it wisely because there is only one chance to crack this mastermind’s case and then it’s over. Previous attempts to extract information from Mr. Ivanov using old-fashioned tactics had been futile.
Would this work on such a seasoned criminal who almost, single-handedly, took down the entire information grid and government together before being caught?
Would it even crack the case or just scratch the surface?
What would I ask this mastermind criminal who probably knows more about complex pieces of technology than I would ever lay my eyes on?
The criminal is seated behind a cold gray slate table in the interrogation room facing me, the interrogator, on the other side. There is a look in his eyes of coldness and scorn but he remains calm as if he knows nothing ever could break him.
Before the interrogation, Mr. Ivanov had been injected in the arm with the entire dose of veritaserum, instantly causing a state of confusion and deliriousness in him; he fell into a sleepy stupor and was taken into the interrogation room rather defenseless. There was no needed consent for this injection; Ivanov had done enough to deserve a punishment without any sympathy put before it.
Now facing Ivanov with the ball firmly in my court, I think I would start by asking him what his motive was for deciding to infiltrate the most well-guarded files in the world, why this decision mattered so much to him. Something to get the ball rolling. Mr. Ivanov would try to resist the drug at first, possibly shoot me a look of hatred but this wouldn’t last long; the truth serum would overcome his mental strength and he would be spilling his most dark secrets, exposing the truth about his plans to sabotage the government. He would tell me, in a thick Russian accent, that he had wanted to get his hands on an entire fortune of stolen credit cards and use the information gathered from his hacking into private systems to bring Russia the power to overtake the U.S. in knowledge and technological advancements.
I would then ask him if he felt wrong for doing this and would hate facing the harsh penalties. After a while I would see the cold, hard truth that this man has no remorse and could commit wrongful deeds again once he had the chance. More hard pressed questions would bring out the true character of this criminal genius named Ivanov. He would tell me how he got into the system, what methods he used, and how he had learned so much about the technology and secrets behind the FBI and CIA. Knowing that I had gotten this far into breaking Ivanov, the color of his pale skin losing even more color and his eyes growing weary, there would be the need to go as far asking if he would sell his own family out for power and money. The tough as nails demeanor inside this man would be reduced to a cowardly heap and I would know that justice had been served.
You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (
with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?