FBI Says Video Barbie Girl Could Be Used for 'Child Pornography Production'When we got our hands on the new Barbie Video Girl a few months ago, we sort of knew that the camera-equipped doll could give rise to a whole new era of kiddie voyeurism. Little did we know, though, that it could spawn a whole new era of homemade kiddie porn, as well.
Yet that's exactly what the FBI is worried about, according to a new memo (PDF) that describes the toy as a "possible child pornography production method." As Washington's KIRO TV reports, the FBI is apparently concerned that child pornographers could take advantage of the doll's hidden camera to sexually exploit young children. The camera, conveniently nestled within Barbie's cleavage, can capture up to 30 minutes of video footage, which users can then upload to their computers, via the accompanying USB key. (TechCrunch's Paul Carr, it should be noted, saw these concerns coming a few months ago, when he declared the toy perfect for "frickin' pedophiles!")
Barbie manufacturer Mattel, however, doesn't seem too concerned about the toy's potential for misuse. "The FBI is not reporting that anything has happened," the company said in a statement, adding that its toys are always "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."
Some parents have indeed expressed concern over the toy, but that hasn't stopped many others from grabbing one for their own children. A reporter from CBS Sacramento recently discovered that a local Walmart had already sold all of its Barbie Video Girls, and that the doll was sold out online, as well. Parental caution, of course, is always understandable. But for now, at least, it seems like Barbie's star power still outweighs everything else.