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Cameras For Soldier Accountability

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This is an extension of the concept of open governance in police force, but in an army context.


If we are going to install cameras to ensure that police acts in an accountable manner. (Which had a measurable impact in reducing the amounts of complaints against the police, while at the same time reducing instances of corruption and abuse of power).

Then shouldn't all soldiers have a similar system as well?

mofosyne, Sep 30 2014

Soldier with camera kills afghan captive http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24870699
gets the jail [calum, Sep 30 2014]

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       While I'm not actually opposed to this as long as the gear is light enough not to cause problems...   

       The proper role of soldiers and police are different. The latter are supposed to routinely interact with civilians in an other than violent way, and are significantly restrained in the powers they have during that interaction.   

       The former are primarily supposed to interact with other soldiers, and interaction with civilians is both incidental, and generally not nearly as restricted.
MechE, Sep 30 2014

       I foresee a lot of nasty things staged just for these cameras. An when they do something real, the camera will be switched off or left behind or aimed at a street light.   

       Put cameras on the top 500 exec of major corps an you get the same non result.
popbottle, Sep 30 2014

       Cameras for surgeon accountability - that I like.
bungston, Sep 30 2014

       that too
mofosyne, Sep 30 2014

       Only if politicians need to wear them as well.   

       I think we need to worry a little less about our solders being the badguys and worry a little more about winning this war the barbarians have declared against civilization itself.
doctorremulac3, Sep 30 2014

       Sadly, ISIS adopted this idea.
pashute, Sep 30 2014

       what [MechE] said:   

       cops work within their own community; even the suspects they take into custody or are looking for, and the people who have "done time" (or, in the case of house-arrest, are in the process of doing so) are also the people they're serving-and-protecting.   

       Their actions are governed by the law of the land.   

       soldiers, on the other hand, are there as the armed force of the government, greeting with open arms ;) the armed forces of other governments.   

       Their actions are governed by the Geneva Convention - a much shorter document.   

       There really should not be any conflation.   

       (If I were a small town sheriff, potential recipient of army leftovers, while my personal garage might somehow end up with a tank in it, I like to think that I'd "just say no" to automatic weapons and grenades and such to arm my men with).   

       <rant> oh, and welcome to the third-world north of the 49th, Ontario cops now have assault rifles in their vehicles instead of shotguns, ya know because who gives a shit about the miles behind what you're shooting at with an automatic weapon at a distance greater than a shotgun can reach </rant>   

       <further rant> and congratulations to the Ottawa cops for blowing not only themselves up, but some paramedics as well, while farting around with some yahoo door-openers</fr>
FlyingToaster, Sep 30 2014

       Cops & soldiers should be different roles. When we mix them, we get horrible results.   

       Cops have a lot of choices & thus power. Soldier's have far less discretion & thus power. Soldiers have tight peer groups & narrow missions.   

       I favor transparency, and the more power we grant a person, the more transparency we should demand.   

       So, more videos on cops, and not on soldiers. Soldiers please keep to the military context, and not in the occupying/policing context.   

       Also: Context matters. And, context is hugely missing in video clips. That's why it's best to first run the video through their peers, who might understand the right context & questions to ask. Then, you need oversight over those peers to make sure they aren't just covering for each other's abuses. Very complicated.
sophocles, Sep 30 2014

       Baked, at least for UK soldiers*. One got sentenced to life because his squad were wearing cameras?   

       I'll go take a look for the link..Calum has beaten me to it.   

       *Not sure if that includes the cooks, or maybe best not to know.
not_morrison_rm, Sep 30 2014


       Interesting to see that that it actually had some real world use already. Though I imagine it is currently ad hoc.
mofosyne, Oct 01 2014

       I'd settle for "Cameras for Influential Citizen Accountability"...which could be worse
sninctown, Oct 01 2014

       This idea is already widespread throughout most Western militaries, and the actual practice is following quickly. The British Army, US Army, and USMC and RM have been using helmet-, gun-, and chest-cameras on the battlefield for over five years. The USMC in particular is aimed at equipping every last combat grunt with cameras and other sensors with the twin purposes of accountability and intel- gathering.
Alterother, Oct 01 2014

       How much can we trust these current accountability system? There are multiple cases in the past where atrocities are covered up by higher ups, even when there are evidence available. (e.g. torture, detainee abuses, shooting captives )   

       Should these data be sent to a 3rd party oversight organization perhaps?   

       What is the current system the police is using to deal with the issue of 'who watches the watchers'?
mofosyne, Oct 01 2014

       Usually it's called the Internal Affairs Bureau or something like. Militaries have their own equivalents.
Alterother, Oct 01 2014


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