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Video Barbie prompts porn warning from FBI

December 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Barbie may be on your daughter's holiday gift list this year, but there are concerns that one new version of the popular doll may be used by someone making child pornography.Barbie almost always comes with an accessory like a purse or a designer jacket. This year Barbie has a built-in camera. According to the FBI, that's something that can be used to make child pornography.

It looks like a necklace but a circular object on the new line of Barbie dolls is actually a video camera.

The video Barbies are meant for children 6 and older and they're pretty easy to use. There's a lens on the front of the Barbie, a viewing screen and record button on the back. Each doll can hold up to 25 minutes of video and the clips can be downloaded onto your computer.

Which is why the FBI sent an alert to law enforcement agencies. They say criminals have used Barbies to lure in children and hidden cameras to produce child pornography.

"There have been no reported incidents of this doll being used as anything other than as intended. For clarification purposes, the alert's intent was to ensure law enforcement agencies were aware that the doll -- like any other video-capable equipment -- could contain evidence and, to not disregard such an item during a search. The cyber alert was meant for law enforcement only and has been taken out of context. Our intent was to aid law enforcement in evidence gathering," said FBI Special Agent Steve Dupre.

Mattel, the maker of Barbie, responded to the alert in a statement:

"Mattel products are designed with children and their best interests in mind. Many of Mattel's employees are parents themselves and we understand the importance of child safety - it is our number one priority."

With the holidays upon us, some parents may be thinking twice before putting Barbie Video Girl doll under the tree.

Video Barbie has been on store shelves since July. It's predicted it will be a big seller this holiday season.


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