Amourous Beijing couples told to be careful of surveillance cameras

Wednesday July 25, 2007

Beijing couples who steal a kiss in public are being warned they could be caught on closed-circuit television - and suspected of committing a crime.

China's Xinhua News Agency reports "intimate acts of lovers may be initially categorized as 'kidnapping' or 'robbery' by the computers, which are programmed to be sensitive to violations of safe distances." Police officers monitoring the cameras will decide if the situation really is dangerous.

Signs will go up next month in areas covered by the cameras, saying in Chinese and English "you are entering a camera-monitored zone."

Public displays of affection, and more, are common for young urban Chinese couples, who often have nowhere else to go because they share small apartments with their parents.

Closed-circuit cameras are becoming more common in Beijing, and Xinhua said that before next year's Summer Olympics the city plans to unify the monitoring of the cameras.

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