France to increase dramatically use of CCTVs

Published 1 December 2005

The French parliament Tuesday approved a bill to increase dramatically security video surveillance around the nation. The bill would increase video surveillance in public places and allow police to hold terror suspects for up to six days, rather than the current four. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said the bill would give France “a more efficient arsenal” and “give greater powers to law enforcement to avoid a catastrophe.” The French authorities were impressed with the use of video footage in identifying the London bombers, and the bill would allow potential terror targets —including public transport, places of worship and shops — to install surveillance cameras for the first time. France is comparable in population to the United Kingdom, but strict privacy laws have so far limited the number of video cameras in public places in France to 60,000. There are four million such cameras in Britain.

The new law would also oblige internet providers and Internet cafes to store and make available to police their customers’ connection records.

-read more in this report