Everybody has as opinion on CCTV and videosurveillance. The majority of the population, when asked in surveys, is in favour, up to a proportion of 75%. As with topics discussed broadly and where each opinon is supposed to be valid, we are lost in oceans of opinions, thus we loose the real, fundamental view. The criminal law is based in our societies on a philosophical assumption: nobody is guilty until proven so. But what does happen with videosurveillance? We turn the assumption upside down and state implicitly that everybody is a suspect, thus has to controlled preventively. Videosurveillance, in the name of security, but in 99% of the cases, let us be honest, of only minor disorders like graffitis, has destroyed a basic concept of our legal culture. Suspicion has replaced innocence. Morover, it destroys a social heritage that emphasises the trust in the people, a feeling of confidence in human beings. I feel sorry for us.
This has to be said. We must discuss with enough distance on the enormous philosophical responsibility of those promoting CCTV. CCTV destroys culture in the name of clean walls.