Europe Increases Electronic Surveillance To Fight Terrorism

The Madrid and London public transportation system attacks and the potential for additional devastation are forcing Europeans to relax a strict stance on data protection and privacy and step up electronic surveillance. In Barcelona, citizens calmly pass by a set of cameras in the main train station without making a fuss over the fact that the devices are recording every move they make. In London, the release of video on suicide bombers entering a train station did not seem to trigger data protection or privacy concerns as distressed citizens caught a glimpse of those who had violently killed or maimed hundreds of people. The latest place where public opinion seems to be shifting in favor of more surveillance at least in train stations and the distribution of video to catch criminals is in Germany. German police officers recently discovered 55 pounds of explosives in suitcases allegedly brought into a major train station by terrorists. Police officers detected the alleged criminals bringing the suitcase bombs into a major train station in surveillance camera video. Luckily, the bombs did not explode. And the distribution of the video through the Internet led to arrests. Police officers found material in the suitcase bombs which have led them to believe the German attack was apparently motivated by the recent Mideast crisis. The fact that this may be one of many planned attacks has spooked Germans. Nowadays, even staunch German data protection advocates are reportedly calling for the expansion of electronic surveillance to keep fellow citizens safe. The rest of Western Europe is also on high alert.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What happened in Germany?
How did the German police respond?
How do Germans feel about the use of cameras?

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