FBI Warns Video Camera Barbie Could Be Used For Kiddie Porn

The FBI is downplaying a leaked internal memo that reminded field agents that “Barbie Video Girl”, which has a video camera embedded in her necklace, could be used by pervs to produce child pornography.

However, “There have been no reported incidents of this doll being used as anything other than as intended,” said an FBI spokeswoman at a news conference. She clarified the purpose of the alert was to make sure law enforcement didn’t overlook the doll while executing a search.

“Budding filmmakers, take note: Barbie doll now doubles as a video camera!” reads the copy on the Mattel website advertising the toy. “Girls can record and play back clips with this multi-tasking doll, which has a video camera built right in. Capture everything from a doll’s-eye-view, then watch it instantly or upload to your computer. There’s an LCD screen on Barbie doll’s back, and a camera lens hidden discreetly in her necklace. Talk about making movies in style!”

In a statement released to the press, the doll’s manufacturer said, “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.”

FBI Memo: Video Barbie Doll Could Be Used For Child Pornography [KIRO]
FBI: New Barbie ‘Video Girl’ doll could be used for child porn [CNN]

Comments

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  1. jason in boston says:

    But what about video cameras? Can they be used for cp?

  2. Julia789 says:

    So can those “Nanny Cams” built into teddy bears. So can a person with a candy bar and a regular video camera. I don’t see how Barbie is at fault?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      No one is placing fault on anyone. The FBI is simply reminding its investigators that the technology exists and to not overlook this item as a potential for evidence.

      • Julia789 says:

        Oh that makes sense. So when searching for evidence, check barbies for cameras because evidence may be stored on it. Whereas before, FBI agents might have overlooked a Barbie in a room.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          I sense sarcasm… There is always that chance that the child managed to record herself being rapes or molested. When gathering evidence, the FBI or any law enforcement agency would be remiss in not checking any and all recording devices in the vicinity of a crime scene. That being said, clearly not every officer is going to be already aware of this device. It’s new to the market and so far fairly unique.

          • Julia789 says:

            I was not being sarcastic at all. It was a good point. Agents wouldn’t know to look for it, and now they do.

  3. DanRydell says:

    I’m trying to figure out what purpose this article is intended to serve. Criticize the FBI? Criticize Mattel? Warn parents? None of those seem to be warranted.

    • VOIDMunashii says:

      I guess the point is just to pass on a bit of information being reported in the mainstream media?

      As to why the mainstream press is covering it, the answer is simple: fear-mongering. Old media has been trying to make it seem like the perverts are coming through the intertubez after your kids since before I even had my first modem.

  4. obits3 says:

    Think of the children!!!

  5. humphrmi says:

    Notice the backscatter-like scan of the Barbie doll in the FBI report? Looks like Barbie had to go through airport security…

  6. blinky says:

    wouldn’t video cam barbie require a child having sex with somebody in order to create kiddie porn?

  7. Blueskylaw says:

    “There have been no reported incidents of this doll being used as anything other than as intended”

    Until of course, there are.

  8. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    “He killed me. He killed me with a sword, Mal. How weird is that?”

  9. RickinStHelen says:

    The local news did a big expose on this. Total BS in my opinion. The camera in the doll cannot be remotely activated. It can be down loaded to the computer, but again, not remotely. It is not a secret camera, but is obvious. Really, is it any more dangerous than the Barbie video camera my daughter had 10 years ago? Also, if a Barbie cam is the tool used by a potential predator, isn’t there a bigger problem, as in the predator is already in the house?

    Child exploitation is a real problem, but let’s focus on the real dangers and causes, and not on the hysteria. Here in Tulsa the local police warned parents about a new danger, Pedobear. It can lure your kids into danger, beware. Yep, a years old internet meme was discovered by the local police and sold as a new danger.

    If you are worried about video Barbie as a danger to your kids, you should probably scrutinize who has access to them, and soon.

    • DanRydell says:

      The intent of the FBI was not to cause hysteria or to make this out to be a bad toy. The intent of the FBI was to make other law enforcement agencies aware of the doll so it would not be overlooked in a search.

      That’s why I asked earlier what is the purpose of posting this article here. The FBI isn’t warning parents about this doll, because in order for it to be used nefariously it would have to be used by someone who has unrestricted access to the child.

      I think it was irresponsible of Ben to post this article. It serves no purpose outside of a law enforcement context except to cause hysteria and backlash, neither of which is warranted here.

      It must suck to work in law enforcement and have everything you say misinterpreted by idiots.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        So your complaint is that this information could be misinterpreted? What an invalid argument for not communicating information.

        There’s no bias here – Ben just re-typed snippits from the articles.

        And misinterpretation here would be by the reader, so look in the mirror for the problem.

      • Ben Popken says:

        Dan, part of the intent was to debunk the hysteria and inform consumers and parents about the facts and context surrounding this story.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I don’t think the memo implies it’s any more dangerous than any other equipment out there. It’s more an FYI for their field investigators to be aware of its existence and not over look it during an investigation.

      • Coyote says:

        Ding, ding. We have a winner.

        Anything that can be overlooked during an investigation is of importance to allow all field officers to know of toys/gadgets/etc that may be used in the course of the case.

        If this notice were not sent out an agent may over look the innocuous barbie sitting at the foot of the bed of a bloody crime scene.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      They issued warnings about Pedobear?! That’s absolutely hysterical! I think Osama Bin Laden is keeping Pedobear in one of his caves for protection.

  10. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    So could an iphone, or an ipod touch, or any other form of video recording device aimed at kids. So what?

    • human_shield says:

      The FBI agents would probably think to check those, but maybe not a Barbie doll. That’s the point.

    • haggis for the soul says:

      Yeah, but those things would be noticeable among a bunch of toys whereas a Barbie might be overlooked as belonging.

  11. PhelpsG says:

    Coming soon: a ban on pencils, since they can be used to write kiddie porn stories.

    • George says:

      CP literature would be protected under free speech. though someone who writes these things most likely would have things that are not; so maybe the FBI would need to look at their barbie dolls.

  12. brianary says:

    Way to fan the baseless panic, Consumerist. Disappointing.

    Are you going to tell me that this camera deserves more special mention than microSD cards hidden in hollow coins, or ThinkGeek’s camera shirt, or any hidden camera the press may use in an exposé?

  13. VOIDMunashii says:

    I wonder why no one felt this way about the teddy bears with cameras embedded in them? I guess because those really were meant for spying?

    Also, remember that if your kids smash video camera Barbie and then eat the pieces, they could ingest hazardous materials. They should just recall this (and everything else) right now, just to be safe.

  14. ellemdee says:

    Yeah…all the paranoid parents are going to freak out now, more from their lack of understanding of technology than anything else. One mom I know wanted to boycott Amazon a few weeks back because she said they were selling a doll with a camera in it and pedo’s could see your kid with it. This was around the time Amazon had to take down that book so I think she got her stories mixed up and she’s not exactly a techie (obviously). I tried to explain how pervs could not spy on your kid remotely just because they have that doll, but she couldn’t hear me through all the PANIC! PANIC! PANIC!

  15. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    I make my own overblown panic attacks at home.

  16. MrEvil says:

    And in other news, the grass is green, the sky is blue, and water gets you wet.

  17. sendbillmoney says:

    Now some mouthbreathing perv will hit Toys R Us and buy their entire stock of these so he can put the FBI’s idea into action.

    Kind of reminds me of that old antidrug ad where the teenager’s dad finds out the kid has drugs and demands to know where he learned that sort of thing. “I learned it from YOU, dad!”

  18. Outrun1986 says:

    It sounds like they are making it out to be a webcam, when it is just a video camera. Sex offenders aren’t allowed to have children’s toys in most cases in their house, so this would be an obvious one if they are worried about missing it in a search. They should probably worry more about things like an iPod touch that has 2 cameras in it, because a lot of people don’t even know the iPod touch has 2 cameras now.

  19. OnePumpChump says:

    Oh good, any time is a good time for moral panic.

    Also imagine the possibilities: Camera in Ken’s chest, monitor in Barbie’s back.

  20. zatoism says:

    This is also a late story. This was cycled thru last month. What’s going on over there?

  21. Telekinesis123 says:

    I guess everyone is a potential murderer becuase we all have knives in our house too? We should all turn ourselves in.

  22. human_shield says:

    Who at Mattel thought it was a good idea to turn Barbie into a cyborg?

  23. Rocket says:

    I never thought of this, but these video Barbies would make great spy cams.

  24. Ed says:

    Let’s leave the production of kiddie porn up to the TSA.

  25. emptyV says:

    I wonder if this has the Dateline NBC seal of approval??
    Have a seat, I’m Chris Hansen…

  26. gman863 says:

    Barbire isn’t the issue. The main story is the low price and small size of self-contained video cameras that can be disguised as almost anything including a working wristwatch or ballpoint pen.

    Why is a pervert going to risk using a Barbie doll with a built-in screen when he (or she) can accomplish the same thing with a camera hidden in an item almost everyone wears or carries? Any pedophile who knows how to buy on eBay or Amazon has full access to these devices.

    While we’re on the subject of Creepy Candid Camera, it’s not just for filming kids. Check out the following story from ABC 13 Houston’s 10 PM News:

    http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7832014

  27. Halloween Jack says:

    OK, fine, the G-Men just want to see if little Trixie used Barbie to record the ax murderer who’s killing her entire family before making his way to her. It’s still pretty absurd to expect them to find every potential camera in the house. ThinkGeek sells hidden-camera devices in cigarette lighters and T-shirts.

  28. Adam says:

    Society has turned into a big “what if”…..everything is “what if this happens, or what if that happens?” Bunch of pussies. More pussification of America.

  29. gman863 says:

    I was browing eBay tonight and came across this listing. It is not posted here as a link to buy or sell the item – just as proof this mini camera thing is getting totally out of hand; especially when translated into “Engrish”

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Spy-Watch-DVR-Video-Mini-Camera-Camcorder-DV-4GB-/170551718490?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27b5acb25a

    For those who don’t want to click and see, here’s the item description:

    Introductions:
    Mini Ocean Camera Watch Blue(big size) is a new and never used eavesdropping. It is popular in the fields of business, education, security, media, legal, tourism, etc

    Features:
    1.New and high quality
    2.For a safely meaning like business negotiation and contract signing
    3.Helps ensure the privacy of your phone conversations
    4.Can effectively prevent eavesdropping, videotaping, fraud, protect personal privacy data and information confidential.
    5.No need for driver installation if the operating system is Windows ME/2000/XP/Mac OS 9.2.2 or above(Windows98 is excepted)
    6.Fit for hotel/restaurant/public toilet/changing room, etc.