A debate over surveillance cameras is raging in Paris, where police are in the process of establishing a widespread system of "video protection". Is it a necessary security measure or a needless infringement of civil liberties?
Until recently, surveillance cameras were limited to monitoring car traffic in Paris, but little by little they’re multiplying throughout the French capital, strategically placed to film the comings and goings of residents and tourists. The new system, born of an agreement between Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë and Prime Minister François Fillon, is expected to install more than 1,100 high-tech cameras in public places around Paris. There are currently only 300, most of them technologically outdated and used exclusively to capture footage of automobile traffic.