Friday 24 November 2017

FBI issues warning on 'Barbie' child pornography

Debbie Alberts in New York

The FBI has warned its agents to look out for Barbie dolls fitted with video cameras which could be used to produce child pornography.

The $49.99 (€38) toy is proving popular with youngsters and the agency stressed it has not been linked with any reported crimes.

But that did not prevent it issuing an advisory notice warning officers not to overlook Mattel's "Barbie Video Girl" during any searches.

The FBI said "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 doll has an LCD screen and shoots video from Barbie's perspective through a lens hidden in the doll's necklace. It can be connected to a TV or computer and records up to 30 minutes of footage.

Gerrick Johnson, a toy industry analyst, said the camera doll was proving extremely popular with both boys and girls.

Media attention "is starting to build, but I really hope it doesn't," he said. "I think it is a very clever product, kids like making videos and uploading things to the computer."

Another industry analyst Jim Silver said the controversy has been overblown. "It's a doll, for Pete's sake," he said.

Irish Independent

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