Global Politics

Boston Bombings Revive CCTV Debate in Germany

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HANDOUT - Screenshot aus einem Video, mit dem die Polizei Köln am 12.12.2012 im Zusammenhang mit dem Bombenalarm auf dem Bonner Hauptbahnhof nach einem Verdächtigen fahndet. Am 10. Dezember war im Bonner Hauptbahnhof ein Sprengsatz in einer Tasche gefunden worden. Der Fund hatte Großalarm ausgelöst. Video: Polizei Köln dpa (ACHTUNG: Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung und nur im Zusammenhang mit der Fahndung bei vollständiger Nennung der Quelle «Polizei Köln») +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

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dpa

When it came to identifying the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, video surveillance footage proved invaluable for the authorities. The first images released by police and the FBI of the Tsarnaev brothers were captured by closed circuit TV cameras near the two blast sites. That's led some to call for more CCTV cameras in public spaces here in the United States.

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But in Germany, there is high reluctance to rely to heavily on such technologies. Germans put a premium on privacy, which harkens back to the Nazi era when data was collected on just about everyone.

But are events in Boston changing the way people in Germany think about the use of CCTV? Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Thomas Hoeren, professor of Information, Business and Media Law at the University of Muenster.

Professor Hoeren tells us about a case of botched bomb attempt at the Bonn train station in December, 2012 – and how a few frames of footage (above) of the suspect are all the German authorities have to go on.