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French City To Use CCTV For Parking Fines 297

Posted by Soulskill
from the nos-rendimos dept.
horza writes "The city of Nice, France is rolling out 626 CCTV cameras throughout town, giving it one of the highest levels of surveillance in the world (1.8 cameras per 1000 inhabitants). The usual rhetoric was given — that they will be used solely for reducing violent crime — but the city will now begin sending out parking tickets solely based on the CCTV video evidence."
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French City To Use CCTV For Parking Fines

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  • Not so Nice (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @02:05AM (#33866562)

    Not so Nice after all...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by syousef (465911)

      Not so Nice after all...

      I hear they're thinking of renaming the city Merde.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Vous savez, je sais que cette mouton merde n'existe pas. Je sais que lorsque je l'ai mis dans ma bouche, la Matrice dit mon cerveau qu'il est juteux et délicieux. Après neuf ans, savez-vous ce que je me suis rendu compte? L'ignorance est une bénédiction. Mais le plus drôle, c'est que je ne suis même pas dans la Matrice! Il a été la réalité! J'ai vraiment mangèrent du mouton merde!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by worx101 (1799560)
      Still, your violating laws... Just because you don't want to pay doesn't make this system any less useful. I know it sucks to have to follow rules right?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Xemu (50595)

        You may say that the system will only be used to control criminals, and you have nothing to hide.

        What you are forgetting is that the system can also be ABUSED or laws can be changed.

        When the system is in place, the next crazy dictator will be able to use it for to find and control jews, arabs, christians, geeks. Whatever they hate.

        Always keep in mind that even Hitler was chosen in a public election.

        It WILL happend again. We need to build society with safeguards so we can survive.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LordLimecat (1103839)
          The cameras are already there, it can already be abused. Was there massive outcry about the cameras before this? I would be interested to see how many people only started complaining when it might actually cost them parking tickets.

          A lot like red light cameras-- Im sure there are legitimate concerns with them, but Im also sure the vast majority of people complaining about them just want to be able to drive how they want with impunity.
  • Here we go again, one of my greatest fears and the next logical step for law enforcement: Shifting focus from public safety to revenue collection. Fixed DHS checkpoints are running random searches for petty drug possesion and proper vehicle paperwork, in the name of "keeping $HOME_COUNTRY safe." Random police "DUI" checkpoints [californiawatch.org] are impounding far more sober than drunk drivers, not even making a dent in drunk driving statistics.

    The solution to the problem lies with a past state of a red-light camera in Sa
    • by psergiu (67614)

      The people in the UK have other methods:
      - http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/18/1863.asp [thenewspaper.com]
      - http://www.speedcam.co.uk/gatso2c.htm [speedcam.co.uk]

      • by Ponyegg (866243) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:58AM (#33866978)

        I'm part of a the NTBPT (No to Bike Parking Tax) demo group in London which protests at having to pay parking fees in Central London. The UK law stipulates that councils are not allowed to simply charge for parking as a revenue stream, there has to be some benefit to the local population/businesses such as relieveing congestion, and as bikes don't cause congestion we're currently fighting Westminster Counsil in the European Courts of the legality of the charges. http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/ [notobikeparkingtax.com]

        Westminster Council also employs CCTV cars that roam the streets of London spying on the populace & catching any "traffic violations", but we've caught on to that and now we follow the CCTV cars and we film them & alert motorists about them and occasionally post evidence of them committing their own traffic violations to Youtube :-)
        http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23883049-bikers-blow-cover-of-cctv-cars-snooping-on-drivers.do [thisislondon.co.uk]
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHOazGC7alk [youtube.com]
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QNfeL71ojg [youtube.com]
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cztfKB8SGCI [youtube.com]
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsZb9jIfGv0 [youtube.com]

        If you don't like what your elected memebers are doing then 1] try and vote them out, 2] organise, protest & demonstrate 3] take direct action to hinder their effectiveness (all legal and above board direct action mind.

        • by dave420 (699308)
          It's not spying if you are in public, and unless those cars are causing incomprehensible damage by driving into people's private residences, it seems your choice of word was a bit sensationalist.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Ash Vince (602485) *

          The UK law stipulates that councils are not allowed to simply charge for parking as a revenue stream, there has to be some benefit to the local population/businesses such as relieveing congestion, and as bikes don't cause congestion we're currently fighting Westminster Counsil in the European Courts of the legality of the charges.

          I am curious, how does a bike not cause any congestion? Granted they take up far less space than a car but they still take up space on the road so if there are enough bike riders going down the same road then you can still have congestion. Or were you referring to when they are parked? Not that this makes any difference because a parked bike takes up about 20 percent of the physical space of a car so it could still cause congestion if inconsiderately parked. So bikes CAN cause congestion just nowhere near

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by CarpetShark (865376)

            No offense to cyclists (I cycle too, but offroad), however I think, if anything, bikes on roads tend to cause MORE congestion than cars. Bicycles are very slow, and I'm always trying to be extra cautious around them, which means that I'm driving slower, and the people in front or behind me seem to act similarly as they pass. Motorbikes aren't so slow, but they tend to be really cocky and think they're invincible. In fact, they're largely surviving because more careful car drivers are going out of their w

    • by pspahn (1175617)

      Random police "DUI" checkpoints [californiawatch.org] are impounding far more sober than drunk drivers, not even making a dent in drunk driving statistics.

      I had always thought that at random DUI checkpoints, the police were not allowed to investigate anything else, and not even supposed to see your license (unless, of course, you were wasted).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zoxed (676559)

      > Shifting focus from public safety to revenue collection.

      As a cyclist, father, neighbour of wheelchairs users and part time pedestrian I can attest to the problems caused by poor parking (and speeding, red light jumping etc.). If CCTV can help reduce this then I am *all for it*.
      (If, however, it is only used to catch someone who overstays their meter by a few minutes then it is not so useful.)

      • (If, however, it is only used to catch someone who overstays their meter by a few minutes then it is not so useful.)

        I believe this would be more the case. In Belgium parking-ticket revenue is per city in the millions. Even sometimes where it's unclear where you have to pay or not: cities invest alot in placing meters and have people check it (they are now run by private organisations instead of police.)

        Seeing that parking for a day in a city like Brussels would cost you 15 euro (or 20usd) this is a nice cas

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by value_added (719364)

        As a cyclist, father, neighbour of wheelchairs users and part time pedestrian I can attest to the problems caused by poor parking (and speeding, red light jumping etc.).

        Hell, you don't need to be any of those. Going for a walk (with or without missus, the girfriend, or the dog) should provide ample evidence that most all drivers behave like complete assholes[1].

        Not sure that CCTV cameras would help. To the extent they could, however, the focus would be on the most egregious and obviously illegal behaviour

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by malkavian (9512)

        As a cyclist, pedestrian, runner, and car user, I can attest to the problems caused by pedestrians not bothering to look at traffic and blithely stepping into the road, and a host of cyclist who will happily cut up drivers, cycle from one pavement to the other causing cars to have to emergency stop, jump red lights and a host of other things. I've even had cyclists swerve between cars, not looking, and collide with me on my own bike! Oh, and a couple of the guys I dive with and regularly hang out with are

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Eivind (15695)

          This is true. Nevertheless, motorists take up a disproportionate fraction of space and inconvenience, relative to other sorts of downtown transport. 2 cars, usually with 2 people in them, take up as much space as a bus, which averages a lot more than 2 passengers. And you can have -many- people walk or bike on a lot smaller space than that used by the same people in individual cars.

          Also, cars make a lot of noise and local pollution, significantly more than biking or walking.

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:30AM (#33866856) Journal
      hehe you're going to hate me, but......

      I used to dislike red-light cameras because they are used as revenue machines for the city, etc. Then I realized, wow, if they weren't using them as revenue machines, then I would have to pay higher taxes. So hey, I don't mind having my taxes subsidized by those people who are too stupid to figure out how to navigate a red light. If that's you, sorry about that, and thanks. And I think there must be a lot of people who feel like me, otherwise there would be no red-light cameras.

      Now if they are catching people when they aren't actually breaking laws, that's another story. I'm against that. But that's not what you're complaining about.
      • by MPAB (1074440) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:50AM (#33866958)

        There was a recent scandal here in Spain because the picture that comes with the fine showed the car passing in yellow, not red. Nobody was found responsible and nothing happened.
        There's also been known cases of shortened yellow lights in the US that give the victims no time to stop before getting caught in camera.

        Speed cameras are easier to use as bait, though, because as soon as the revenue goes down the "authorities" just set a lower speed limit, even far below the safe limit.

      • by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:13AM (#33867024) Journal

        You are suffering from the failed logic that government actually acts rational.

        In fact, the revenue streams won't decrease your tax burden, instead they just give raises to employees, elected officials, find a way to work bonuses or more/better benefits into the public sector, and end up spending more. Government is funny that way, they think once the money is in their hands, they have to spend it. Of course that's true to an extent, most jurisdictions (at least in the US) can only keep a certain percentage of revenue collected until a certain point is reached, the excess has to be spent or returned to the tax payer.

        This is what has sparked most of the major budget problems we are seeing right now. You can't un-raise employees, so when the economy tanks and revenue drops, it's deficit hell or unpopular cuts in programs, or somehow raising taxes. None of which politicians want to do because it makes it hard to get reelected. Most governments went from "we need this to run" to how much can I spend. The later marks a shift in the deterioration of government and brings about favoritism, cronyism and the general environment of waste that seems embedded in the ineffective government we see today on most levels.

        No, red light camera are not subsidizing your taxes, they are enabling government expansion.

        • by cptdondo (59460) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:17AM (#33868542) Journal

          You are suffering from the failed logic that government actually acts rational.

          In fact, the revenue streams won't decrease your tax burden, instead they just give raises to employees, elected officials, find a way to work bonuses or more/better benefits into the public sector, and end up spending more.

          You need to take off your teabagger hat. I work in the public sector, and I tell you that the last thing an elected official will do is give public employees a raise. We advertised for a traffic engineer; even in this horrendous job market it took 3 months to get 4 qualified applicants. Public sector pay is, for the most part, crap. I get about 75 cents on the dollar compared to private sector work. Most public service employees I know have some sort of side income - rentals, side business, etc - that increase their take home pay.

          Government is funny that way, they think once the money is in their hands, they have to spend it.

          You're right there, but the money is spent on pet projects, pie in the sky dreams, and stuff like that. They spend the money on what gets them re-elected, what YOU demand they provide YOU. They don't spend a dime on their own employees unless they have to. Any politician that would champion raises to staff, either as pay increases or better benefits, would not be re-elected next time around.

          Once the economy improves, there will be a huge exodus of qualified public sector employees into the private sector, to the detriment of public service. Heck, I'm on my way out.

          What happens is that once all the good people leave for better paying jobs, leaving mostly the lazy, indolent, and stupid, and a handful of people truly dedicated to service to the public. Then the politicians notice, run around in a panic, give everyone raises, thus rewarding the unqualified for their inability to find a better job.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lewko (195646)

        That sounds nice in theory. However what really happens, is incompetent, bloated bureaucracies get used to all this new money and find new and innovative ways to piss it all away. It's a very slippery slope and pretty soon, even the most god-fearing, law-abiding citizens are getting gouged for the most victimless of offences.

        Governments usually end up addicted to fines revenue like heroin.

      • by SharpFang (651121)

        One more problem: if not enough laws are being broken to guarantee a constant flow of fines, more harsh laws will be made.

        Lower the speed limits. Shorten the yellow signal. Designate more no-parking zones.

        It's a paradox: if means to lower crime rate bring you profit for every crime detected, you'll use any means available to increase the crime rate.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I used to dislike red-light cameras because they are used as revenue machines for the city, etc.

        This is definitely not the case in the UK: the council in Swindon recently decided to get rid of speed cameras as a cost-cutting measure.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Swindon scrapped *fixed* speed cameras because all revenue from them go to central government while the local government has to pay for their up keep (although there is a discretionary fund available for councils to apply for) - that is why it was a cost savings measure, because Swindon was paying all the costs and getting none of the revenue.

          However, Swindon still operates mobile speed cameras, because those fines go to local government and not central government.

          Norwich is doing the same now that th
  • The excuse in this case will probably be how many fist-fights break out over parking spaces.
    • Even so... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gordonjcp (186804)

      ... I'd rather live in a city with CCTV cameras than a city with poorly-trained armed police ready to start shooting at any moment, privately-run prisons that require a constant stream of new inmates to keep the workshops running and the profits up, and drug and alcohol laws that even the Taliban think are a tad excessive.

  • prevention (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MrBrainport (1637275)
    We could use CCTV surveillance to prevent corruption :)
  • Videoprotection (Score:5, Informative)

    by bedonnant (958404) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @02:57AM (#33866748)
    This is the doing of Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice and minister of Industry, whose education consisted in winning motorcycle races. He's at the forefront of applying repression at the city level, and actually wanted to fine mayors of other cities where crime is not sufficiantly fought in his eyes. Funny coming from the guy in charge of the city where the Russian Mafia is rampant... anyway the summary has is wrong, in terms of politically correct French. The French government wants everyone to stop using the ugly word 'videosurveillance' and instead opt for the friendly, wonderfully orwellian 'videoprotection'.
    • Re:Videoprotection (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:07AM (#33868384)

      seriously have you ever driven in Nice? People are double parked everywhere and at any time. The entire city is constantly jammed because two lanes streets are turned into a narrow one lane street. People just stop their car and leave them in the middle of the street blocking traffic and those parked into the proper parking zones. They even double park in intersections blocking two streets for the price of one.

      Cops in Nice are useless or never to be seen and only the gendarmes seem to care about traffic violation, but they can only operate on the highway. I live on the outskirts of Nice and never ever drive into the centre, I'd even drive miles to end up in Italy where things are quieter than going inside Nice on a Saturday afternoon.

      What's the other stuff they've done. They've put cameras on traffic lights so that people stop running thru red lights because 50% of all scooters and two-wheelers just run thru red lights like it was only for cars. And guess what: people complain because they've been caught doing it.

      Anyone who has learned how to drive in the US, Canada, UK, EIRE, Switzerland, Germany,etc... will have a heart attack driving here.

  • by mayberry42 (1604077) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @02:59AM (#33866760)

    This is not the first time I've heard "this is for your own safety" arguments only to have them turn out as thinly veiled guises of trying to make money at your expense. Details escape me, but not too long ago, somewhere in the US, a town added red light cameras which took a snapshot of your car and sent you the fine for running a red light. In a matter of months, it was so successful that very few, if anybody, ran red lights anymore. You think they'd be happy - after all, they probably DID save lives. So why did they take them down? Because the revenue from tickets (those types anyway) was reduced to a big, fat 0

    This also makes you wonder what else is being done "for our safety", when in reality it's just a way to take your money. Surely at least speeding enforcement must be exempt from this. Oh wait... [motorists.org]

    Rothbard was right when he said that governments only have destructive ways of making money (of course, he was referring to taxation at the time, but a valid point non the less)

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      This also makes you wonder what else is being done "for our safety", when in reality it's just a way to take your money.

      It doesn't make me wonder. Everything is being done to take your money.

      This is capitalism. Profit is the objective of every single thing.

      • The government's deception in order to take money is not capitalism, it's robbery.
        • by Thanshin (1188877)

          The government's deception in order to take money is not capitalism, it's robbery.

          That's precisely the point I was disagreeing with.

          I don't think there's such a thing as "non money-driven government capitalism".

  • ...but that isn't very Nice.

  • London (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:03AM (#33866772)
    We have this in London, and I personally have had ticekets while asking for directions, waiting to do a U-turn and while waiting to reverse into a parking bay.

    You do not want this ... It is worse than living in East Germany under the Stazi. (or similar to the "great Terror" after the French revolution)

    • Re:London (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:12AM (#33866802)

      It is worse than living in East Germany under the Stazi.

      Rule of thumb: if parking tickets are a big grievance for you then your life isn't as bad as living in East Germany under the Stasi.

      • Except I've already commented (twice) on this thread. Parent isn't just Funny, but also Insightful.
      • Re:London (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Galvatron (115029) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:28AM (#33867084)

        Rule of thumb: if parking tickets are a big grievance for you then your life isn't as bad as living in East Germany under the Stasi.

        This is obviously true. No one will be executed, tortured, or held in secret prisons in Nice for parking violations. However, the GP's point isn't totally trivial either. Certainly a surveillance apparatus is being implemented that is vastly greater than anything envisioned by the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, and it is being aimed at punishing citizens who generally are trying to live their lives without harming others. Yes, people are breaking laws (usually, though there's plenty of stories of systems implemented in such a way that they catch even law abiders), but we all have occasions where we need to stop in a bus zone for a minute to drop something off, or realize that we left our change in our other pants and can't pay the meter. The notion of having eyes on us at all times, watching for us to make the smallest mistake and pouncing on it, does contribute to a sense of alienation, a feeling that government is working against us, rather than for us. Working for the citizens, rather than against them, is supposed to be the very essence of what separates liberal democracies from totalitarian autocracies. Just because a government demonstrates its hostility through annoyance, rather than brutality, doesn't mean it's not a disturbing attitude.

        • Re:London (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:56AM (#33867198)

          but we all have occasions where we need to stop in a bus zone for a minute to drop something off

          No, we don't. Unless you live in a village, your "one minute" stop is influencing hundreds of cars, creating a collective loss much greater than "one minute" that you're imposing on the society for egotistic reasons.

          The one and only effect I'd enjoy of camera traffic control (being completely against it) is that it would reduce the dozens of "one minute quick stops just to drop something" that make me lose hours per year.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by squizzar (1031726)

            I remember reading something about the old saying that 'at least the $fascists made the train run on time'. To paraphrase: When the attractive young woman runs onto the train platform in tears because she's a few seconds late and the doors are closing, and it's her first day of work etc. etc. etc. the fascist guard ignores her, blows the whistle and the train leaves on time. The not-so fascist guard will hold the train open a door for her and let her on - an action that may delay trains for everyone for t

        • Re:London (Score:4, Insightful)

          by tehcyder (746570) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @07:18AM (#33867742) Journal

          we all have occasions where we need to stop in a bus zone for a minute to drop something off

          Yes, but only if we are bus drivers, fuckwit.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by airfoobar (1853132)

        I don't think the parking tickets are the problem, but the all seeing eye in the sky that smites you from a distance the moment it thinks you've broken its rules. As soon as people are fully acclimated to this sort of regime, and that may be generations from now, who knows what sort of new laws such a system will be used to enforce -- and people won't even know any better.

        Let's make it illegal to walk around the city without smiling! France is the happiest place on earth -- just look at how happy everyone i

    • by RMH101 (636144)
      I had a £60 fine for driving in a bus lane in Manchester, UK, based on CCTV footage. What the single still image they posted to me *didn't* show was that I'd had to make an emergency swerve around a bike in front of me that wasn't looking where it was going. Total time in bus lane? Approx 2 seconds. Nice.
  • Sounds like a jobs program more than anything else.

  • Are there any sources for this besides a blog post?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mxolisi06 (1009567)
      Here [nicematin.com] is an article in the main local news paper. Although I wouldn't be too sure it's better than a blog...
  • I think the core of the reaction to this is, the traffic system isn't and has never been built around everyone keeping every speed limit and rule all the time, implicitly?
  • by George_Ou (849225) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:39AM (#33867124)
    Parking tickets are like Vegas Casinos. If they make the table odds too high, then they lose a lot of customers. Installing cameras will just mean that people won't be willing to take risks any more since there's a certainty that they will be caught. Cities catch people because people can actually get away with a lot of red meters, but they end up getting caught more in the long run.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Swanktastic (109747)

      This is brilliant. It's like the Laffer Curve of parking ticket enforcement...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by John Hasler (414242)

      So don't make the odds too high. Having a picture of you parked at a red meter does not obligate them to send you a ticket. They can just ticket a randomly-selected subset of the observed violations (and the bureaucrats can perhaps make a bit of money on the side arranging for you to be in that subset...)

  • This system is already in use for awhile in Cannes (the film festival city) and for sure in other cities in south of France... And the enforcement is drastic. You stop in front of a shop to pick up some ordered goods, you've got a ticket coming home...
  • With all that's going on in the World today, isn't about time we got back to hating the French?

    • Why do you hate the French? France is the USA of Europe. Americans think they are the world, the French think they are Europe. And both are known for their foul international politics.
  • by Taibhsear (1286214) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:23AM (#33868622)

    In chicago when they switched to a private company for parking meters, who then jacked the prices up by 5-10 times what they originally were and couldn't be bothered to fix them when they broke, the public was furious. Practically no one would park at the meters anymore and there were rampant accounts of people purposely breaking the meters. What do you think is going to happen here? Now the company will have to pay for upkeep and repairs on the cameras as well as the meters so they'll charge even more. How long before the retaliation?

  • by wsapplegate (210233) <wsapplegate@est.un.goret.info> on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @01:55PM (#33873380) Homepage

    OK, I suppose I should comment on this since I live in that city, and am only two blocks from the building where cops watch those video cameras. Actually, there are pros and cons to this idea (but mainly cons):

    • Pro: Nice is an old city, squeezed between hills, which doesn't exactly spell “car-friendly”. Large avenues are few, and traffic regularly suffers from congestion (even more so since the main avenue has been nearly closed to traffic when they built the light rail line). Obviously, idiots parked in the middle of the road, on bus stops, on pedestrian passages, etc., do nothing to help and should be fought
    • Pro: Due to perceived lax enforcement, local motorists have got a bad rep for driving like monkeys. Since I know for a fact that people can't change their habits unless you hit at their wallet, this initiative looks actually good (red light running cameras are also being installed, before you ask)
    • Cons: This is at best a money grabbing scheme. While (as told above) motorists park just about anywhere, the lack of car parks may have something to do with that. The underground geology prevents digging very far, and surface real estate is at a premium, but still, there aren't IMHO enough car parks compared to the cars driving around (especially outside the central business district). The existing car parks are not cheap, either, which means people who have a car but can't rent a garage can hardly use them. That doesn't excuse rogue parking habits, but I would like such an initiative to get a companion car-park-building effort
    • Cons: At worst, it shows that those cameras are going to be abused for whatever suits the local politicians' goals. The previous mayor “solved” the issue of homeless people by removing them forcefully to some shelter kilometres away (and letting them return on foot. I'm all for eradicating homelessness, mind you, just not that way). The next iteration of this kind of stunt will be even easier thanks to Estrosi's all-singing, all-dancing, repurposable cameras
    • Cons: Mayor Estrosi made a big deal of his cameras having allegedly permitted to arrest a few dozens violent people, but the cameras have been placed everywhere, not just in places known for frequent muggings. This basically means the people behind those screens can track your movements throughout the city. But that's OK, you say, because those people are police? Well yes, they're police, but the municipal police, paid by the city, and less competent than a nationwide law enforcement agency (for instance, they have no investigative powers).And reliability of cops in this case is paramount: Nice (like the whole southeastern area and Corsica) has been infamously known for corruption affairs regularly showing up at the municipality. The perspective of having a corrupt official persuading a cop to spy on an innocent citizen doesn't exactly please me. At a minimum, I would have liked the system to be manned by personnel unconnected with the city council

    In short, this is a truly bad idea, but since no one cares (and since ethnic issues and the accompanying fear-mongering run high at the moment), politicians can happily bamboozle people into thinking they should accept any weird proposal in the name of security. Trying to explain the underlying issues to the average city dweller (which are basically seniors and right-wingers) will just get you a “think-of-the-children”-like answer (the best line I've found is pointing out how the cameras won't do shit to prevent an attacker from hitting them, and that their tax money would have been better spent on more policemen on the beat). I suspect it will be some time before people actually realise the dangers of this global surveillance system, and when they do, it may well be much too late. Just like all those people that go around yelling that the law “protects too much the criminals' rights”—until of course, a relative of them gets beaten at the hands of the police *sigh*

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