Have you ever wondered why those squad car dashcam videos you see on the nightly news are so often silent?
As you've surely noticed in the past few years, an increasing number of police departments across the "civilized world" have been installing video and audio recording equipment in squad cars, and even on officers themselves,1 so as to provide an additional perspective in dispute resolution, and even, perhaps somewhat idealistically, to provide increased accountability to police work.2 So to answer the lead-off question, it's not that "the talkies" haven't been invented yet for government use, it's that police officers, at least those belonging to the Chicago Police Department in Illinois USA, have taken it upon themselves to intentionally sabotage the recording equipment fitted to their vehicles, particularly the microphones. (archived).
Apparently, the boys in blue at the Chicago Police Department feel that they have enough on their hands without Big Brother (and its attendant media spectacles) watching over their every move. Given the murder rate in Chiraq, and across the United States for that matter, as well as an increasingly discontented and disobedient populace, wouldn't you do the same if you were in their shoes?
This newest fad of officer "body cameras" isn't without its early teething problems, however. Units sold by California-based Martel Electronics, one of the largest dictation and transcription companies in the States and a regular supplier of gear to everyone with a USG spending account (ie. Apple, Cisco, FBI, etc.), were recently shown to be equipped with the Windows Conflicker worm. No word on whether this was an option or standard equipment. ↩
Because Big Brother always increases accountability and never leads to gaming of systems ? ↩