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posted by janrinok on Thursday August 04 2016, @08:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the now-that-is-a-surprise dept.

Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard

As Tim Cushing wrote a few months back, recording the police is a complex and contentious issue in the US. But what about in China? Given the increasing clampdown on the Internet world, it's pretty easy to guess that the Chinese authorities wouldn't take too kindly to members of the public trying to hold the police to account in this way. Easy to guess -- and yet wrong, according to this story in the South China Morning Post (SCMP):

Chinese residents can now record the actions of police ­officers as long as it does not stop them from doing their job.

The article provides a little background to this rather surprising news:

The move is expected to help keep police in check but there were no details on how it will be enforced.

And this is why some of them clearly need to be controlled better:

Environmental scientist Lei, 29, died in police custody in May just 50 minutes after he was ­approached by plainclothes ­officers for an identification check in his neighbourhood.

At first, police said he died of a heart attack, but an autopsy report this month said he died of suffocation from gastric fluid.

The public blamed his death on police handling, with two case officers arrested on suspicion of dereliction of duty.

Source: TechDirt


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by wonkey_monkey on Thursday August 04 2016, @08:43PM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Thursday August 04 2016, @08:43PM (#384230) Homepage

    it's pretty easy to guess that the Chinese authorities wouldn't take too kindly to members of the public trying to hold the police to account in this way. Easy to guess -- and yet wrong

    Does anyone really believe that the Chinese government says has any relation to what it does?

    Film the police while they issue a parking ticket or catch a petty criminal? No problem. Now try when they arrest a human rights lawyer on charges of "subversion" and see what happens.

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  • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Thursday August 04 2016, @09:10PM

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Thursday August 04 2016, @09:10PM (#384242)

    I was going to say something similar. This will help them identify potential "troublemakers".

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04 2016, @11:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04 2016, @11:19PM (#384302)

      This will help them identify potential organ donors.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Thexalon on Thursday August 04 2016, @09:35PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday August 04 2016, @09:35PM (#384260)

    On the other hand, China has fewer people in prison than the US does. It's not like the US is really able to claim the moral high ground on their policing practices.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Thursday August 04 2016, @09:37PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Thursday August 04 2016, @09:37PM (#384263)

    > Does anyone really believe that the Chinese government says has any relation to what it does?

    I do.
    The Chinese people keep taking to the streets to protest local corruption. The central government is happy to put a few bullets in low-level corrupt people to prove that it's fighting corruption and bad management. The Party even regularly purges high-level guys who are getting in someone's way, or have been caught doing really outrageous stuff. One guy doesn't matter, if he's not part of the boss's family.

    You can film the cops in the street as much as you want. The local cops will want you dead, but the Party will thank you for being a good citizen.
    Taping uniformed cops on the street does not threaten the People Who Matter.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 05 2016, @03:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 05 2016, @03:02PM (#384493)

      Just like in the US, no? Try arresting a member of the Bush cartel... or the Clinton cartel...

    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Friday August 05 2016, @09:15PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Friday August 05 2016, @09:15PM (#384630) Journal

      They might not even do that. They said you can film, they didn't say they'd do anything about it.

      Much like the US -- the courts say we have a right to film. The police disagree and arrest people for it quite regularly. It's exceedingly rare for officers to be disciplined for that.

      And even when a police officer is caught on video blatantly violating the law, usually nothing is done. An internal investigation will find no evidence of wrongdoing. At best they'll get a show trial and be found not guilty -- unless it's a convenient excuse to get rid of an officer for other reasons, or they decide to allow the occasional conviction just to keep the peace.

      Now, perhaps this isn't how it'll go in China, perhaps they're actually less corrupt than the US...but this policy doesn't really demonstrate that yet...

  • (Score: 2) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Friday August 05 2016, @05:29AM

    by fido_dogstoyevsky (131) <axehandleNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday August 05 2016, @05:29AM (#384388)

    Does anyone really believe that the Chinese government says has any relation to what it does?

    No, it's no different to the US, British or Australian governments. Or any large multinational company. Or almost any company, come to that.

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