Video Girl Barbie could be used for kiddie porn?


59 Responses to “Video Girl Barbie could be used for kiddie porn?”

  1. Xenu says:

    Let’s get this straight: naked little girl plays with Barbie while it’s recording, then a pedo gets the Barbie and copies the video to his computer.

    Aside from the fact that the possibility of this happening is basically zero, let’s consider the other part of this: who cares? Even if he’s a pedo, it’s not like anyone was hurt during this.

  2. dimmer says:

    It’s tempting to view this as Bob Newhart did with the “Infinite Number of Monkeys with Typewriters” — someone is going to have to go through acres of videos of pretend tea parties, and other misc. things that young gals do (I don’t know what they are, I’m a boy although my mother won’t admit it) to get the “good stuff”.

  3. RangerGordon says:

    I like Anon’s idea of this toy empowering a child to provide documentary evidence against an abuser!

    But, as far as its nefarious potential is concerned, haven’t “nanny cams” shaped like plush toys been around for a decade? What makes the Barbie doll more dangerous?

  4. kmoser says:

    Wait…is the threat that kids will make sexually explicit videos of *themselves*, or *Barbie*? Because Barbie could easily pass for jailbait.

    • turn_self_off says:

      the very concept of jailbait exist thanks to the disconnect between cultural/religious laws and biology. And jailbait do not even have anything to do with pedophilia, as it is the wrong age range anyways.

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn’t she, like, 80 by now?

  5. AnnieGetYourFun says:

    If kids today are like kids back when I was one, the only pr0n that will be filmed is Ken banging his plastic bulge into Barbie’s naked backside while Malibu Miko watches.

  6. EH says:

    I think the FBI has been recruiting among the creepy customers at Chuck E. Cheese.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ah, the future, where we can fit cameras in dolls and add warnings about how the Church’s shame enforcers are uncomfortable with this.

  8. MayorAwesome says:

    My good buddy is a toy designer and he’s the guy who came up with this Barbie. In the idea meeting, he pitched it as “Blackmail Barbie.” The idea is that the kid could put it in her parent’s bedroom and use it to blackmail them. Obviously it’s a pretty light-hearted environment in an idea meeting for a toys. But then it turned into Spy Barbie, then Vid Girl.

  9. AbleBakerCharlie says:

    Sigh. Anyone feel like going in with me to send a copy of Schneir’s “Beyond Fear” to every member of the FBI payroll?

    Alerts like this are horrible security personified, and one can’t help but wonder if the American security services are in fact filled with medication-addled CNN-addicted decrepit Florida widows instead of the steely, intelligent pragmatists we see on our movie screens….

    But of course, it is “movie plot” thinking that gets us in absurd situations like this in the first place. The statistical realities of violence fail to grip the human imagination, and instead we resort to these games of punitive whack-a-mole against entirely hypothetical and in any case statistically insignificant threats, usually with the wholly specious rejoinder of “if it saves just one…,” to shut up anyone who dares oppose the creeping paranoia.

    What’s the thinking here- that a whole massive conspiracy of previously stymied pedophiles will suddenly cry out “Of course, concealed cameras! Why, I never even conceived of such a notion and or/seen it for eighty bucks on eBay! And toys, of course!,” and leave them on doorsteps of parents, who will then hand them off to their children, who will fill them with kiddy porn for them and drop them out their windows for retrieval?

    Let’s review how the world really works:

    Child pornographers-very rare.

    Little girls who love dolls and making stories- very common.

    Utility to little girls- huge. It’s a brand-name doll that makes POV documentaries of you playing with it- how cool is that?

    Utility to child pornographers- indistinguishable from zero. The world has been filled with cameras small enough to conceal in anything you cared to cut open for the better part of two decades. Which would be scary if it weren’t for the fact child porn is mostly made of exploited children by people with power over them who don’t feel compelled to hide what they are doing. Handicams and cell phones work just fine and are small enough.

    Effect of paranoid parents not getting their kids this toy at Christmas: Tantrums galore- and another ratchet forward in the American fear of their neighbors doing evil to their kids, and the accompanying chilling effect- at a time, of course, which such occurrences are rarer than ever.

    Effect of paranoia on kiddie pornographers- again, zero. If they want a hidden camera, they get one-like before. If they want to bribe a child with a doll, they get one-like before. If they want to exploit a child and film it, they will- like before.

    And round and round we go.

    Next up: Prohibitions on taking Barbies past federal buildings, lest they be t’rrist dolls doing surveillance.

  10. rebdav says:

    After some research it turns out there would be no terrorism, murder, rape, or child porn if there were no victims. Maybe we should eliminate the victims and solve the problem.

  11. Art says:

    “The idea is that the kid could put it in her parent’s bedroom and use it to blackmail them”

    A helluva dumb idea :)

  12. Anonymous says:

    >>>FBI WARNING< <<

    GRAPEFRUIT SPOONS have the potential to remove PUPPY EYES.


    >>>FBI WARNING<<<

    herp. derp.

  13. Opspin says:

    I present you with Canon 7D vs. Barbie Video Girl

    A comparison between my two new cameras: The $1,800 Canon 7D versus the brand new $50 Barbie Video Girl… available in the girlie aisle of your local Toys R Us. It’s the sassiest camera money can buy.

  14. nixus says:

    Shouldn’t ALL cameras come with this warning???

    (& phones & laptops & car parking cameras, etc.)

  15. theawesomerobot says:

    Some people, really.

  16. Anonymous says:

    46 posts and no South Park reference yet? I am disappoint.

    Unfortunately I can’t find a clip of what I’m talking about but it’s from the “Stupid Spoiled Whore” episode… anyone else remember that one?

  17. ackpht says:

    Actually my first thought upon seeing Video Girl Barbie involved an Aerotech rocket motor and a small parachute…

  18. Jack says:

    Just bought some Hanukkah candles tonight and the box now has a sticker that says it can cause fires.

    If any fires happen in Brooklyn tonight, BLAME HANUKKAH!

  19. Halloween Jack says:

    Does anyone else remember when the FBI weren’t a joke? When they had the reputation for effortless competence that was reassuring because you knew that they were always on the job?

    Now they’re nattering about a “hidden” camera that is in no way hidden, that (as far as I can tell) can’t be triggered remotely or even set to run on a timer, when truly scary miniature hidden camera technology has been widely available for more than a decade. Some kid could conceivably use this to photograph their own or others’ bodies, but hellooooo, cell phones! But they (and people like Dead Air, above) don’t stop to think before they spread their FUD.

    • voiceinthedistance says:

      “Does anyone else remember when the FBI weren’t a joke?”

      Was that before or after J. Edgar Hoover paraded around in a negligee?

      • Halloween Jack says:

        Well, yes, I know about Hoover, the FBI’s activities vs. the counterculture in the sixties, etc. I’m talking about their basic ability to analyze a situation and respond appropriately. (And, besides, Hoover didn’t literally “parade[] around in a negligee”; if he had, he’d have lost his job, and the Mob wouldn’t have been able to use that to extort him into leaving them alone.)

  20. sapere_aude says:

    This makes no sense at all.

    Federal law (18 U.S.C. Chapter 110, see especially § 2252, 2252A, & 2256) defines child pornography as any “visual depiction [that] involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct”, with “sexually explicit conduct” defined as “(i) sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; (ii) bestiality; (iii) masturbation; (iv) sadistic or masochistic abuse; or (v) lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person”.

    So, unless underage children are in the habit of masturbating in front of their Barbie dolls, simply giving one of these dolls to a little girl to play with or to keep in her room is extremely unlikely to turn her into an inadvertent kiddie porn star. Sure, it might accidentally capture some material that would appeal to the prurient interests of a pedophile; but, in order to meet the legal definition of child pornography, it actually has to depict the child engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Accidental kiddie porn is practically an oxymoron. Unless the pedophilic pornographer is actually in the room with the child, doing inappropriate things to her or making her do inappropriate things, it would be virtually impossible for him to capture anything on video that would qualify as child pornography under federal law, no matter what sort of camera he was using.

    Sure, a child pornographer could find a way use Video Girl Barbie as one of the tools of his perverted trade; but that’s true of just about any sort of toy and just about any sort of camera. I see no logical reason to single out this particular device as a potential tool of child pornographers. And warning parents about the “dangers” of buying one of these for their children, or allowing their children to receive one as a gift, is simply absurd. As long as you keep your child away from the sort of perverts who make kiddie porn, you probably don’t have to worry that your little angel is going to make a sex tape with the Barbie doll she gets for Christmas.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Apart from what everyone’s already said, i can’t understand the logic of the alert. It goes a bit like this:

    - There was an instance of someone involved in a bank robbery once offered a sip of soda to a bank teller (in a wholly unrelated scenario, from what I understand);

    - There are unrelated examples where soda was found within a robbed bank;

    - Thus soda must be banned or more banks will be robbed.

    …or is it me?

  22. netsharc says:

    The bandwagon David, jump on it.

    Here’s a thinking blog’s thoughts on the scandal:

    Lanning [, a former FBI agent who specializes in child sex crimes,] laughs at the idea that there are aspiring child pornographers without technical know-how who will see “Video Girl” Barbie and suddenly think, “Now I can do it!” Teeny tiny cameras are widely available and relatively affordable. You can put them in anything — from a teddy bear to a smoke alarm. “Even if Mattel had never built this thing, anybody with a little bit of ingenuity could have rigged the same thing,” he says, and pedophiles are not a group generally thought of as unmotivated. What’s more, someone interested in producing child porn would likely sniff at the quality of the Barbie cam images, considering the more advanced technology out there.

  23. Shane says:

    Thank god because, clearly, this is the only video camera in existence, much less the only video camera of a size small enough to hide somewhere. I’ll be able to sleep easier knowing terrorfied Americans continue to make idiotic directives such as this.

  24. cratermoon says:

    Clearly the TSA needs to buy some of these for every airport security grope point.

  25. Ronald Pottol says:

    From experience with my own kids, you don’t want to let them use a camera unsupervised until they understand not to take naked photos.

  26. sixta says:

    nice gender bias moment in ccn’s video report.

  27. sixta says:

    (CNN sorry)

  28. Webbie says:

    Come on Barbie let’s go party.

  29. user23 says:

    mrrrmmmm, uhm….uh..wouldn’t a pedo have to 1) give the doll to random kid and 2) somehow retrieve doll from random kid?

    what are the odds?

    it would be more likely that little children would be filming themselves playing doctor with each other.

    More FUD from FUD Factory Industries, Inc. Keep up the hard work, guiz.

    • Anonymous says:

      umm…because pedos have no underage relatives they can give the doll to? Really, pointing out to police that may be investigating somebody this is something that they should be looking out for is hardly a bad idea.

  30. Chris Tucker says:

    Big Brother is watching you… via his good friend BARBIE!

  31. von Bobo says:

    CNN is now reporting that America has bombed Mattel Headquarters.

    In other news, the terror alert level has been raised to pink.

  32. irksome says:

    I think I’m more concerned about Give-Me-Some-Skittles Barbie and Windowless-Van Ken.

  33. Teller says:

    Not sure how Video Girl Barbie could be misused, but couldn’t be happier that someone’s trying to out-think sick pedofucks.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Pedophiles have become the new Witches of America, the force that is secretly everywhere and at all times and who must be protected against at all costs despite the fact that actual incidents are rare and the public perception of what they are is largely erroneous.

    A discussion of recidivism and other issues regarding the realities of Sex Offenders from the Association for the Treatment of Sex Abusers’s website

  35. caipirina says:

    Am I glad there are no other concealed cameras around … like in t-shirts or sunglasses on thinkgeek …

    This is getting ridiculous … all i can see nasty use for this Barbie for … hook it up to chat roulette

  36. Anonymous says:

    Video Girl Barbie was a bad idea – but not in a funny way like the Shake Weights

  37. SeamusAndrewMurphy says:

    If you are going to run your domestic policy based on fear, there comes a saturation point. That’s when the decade’s long level of fear-mongering is met with a yawn instead of white knuckles. At that point, the only way to continue on with the culture of fear is to go over the top. You know, as with the only way to board an airplane is to have to go through a molestation, or the FBI, with great tenacity, captures a home grown terrorist that it only took six months for them to groom and entrap, or Barbie Dolls are part of a massive pedophilia threat. Once it gets to this level, only the complete dipshits are left saying that’s it’s all for the best and “thank goodness our safety in ensured”. The rest of us look at what’s going on and can’t wait for it to stop.

    For the fear-mongers, the problem is that more and more people are left thinking, “Umm, what is it about this new thing I’m supposed to be afraid of again?”

    That’s the collective Wily Coyote moment. A Wily Coyote moment is when good old Wily realizes that he is thirty feet away from the cliff edge and only a pocket of air is holding him up, and oh, an air pocket can’t possibly hold him up. The next phase of this fear-mongering is approaching; more and more of us realize there’s nothing supporting this but an air pocket. It probably still has a way to go, but that will only cause more of us non-dipshits (the vast majority) to buy out rather than in.

    And no policy continues forever without the majority buying in, or a complete authoritarian takeover threatening “buy in or disappear”.

    American culture can be pretty awful, but authoritarian it has never been.

    Unless this time is different. (my bet is on “not different”, but this might take another ten years or so to finally fade away)

  38. johnnyaction says:

    Its much more likely that kids film themselves and the toy accidentally gets taken to school or left in an innocents car via carpool and problems resulting from that.

    TSA encouraging parents to tell their kids its a game when being groped by strangers is much more harmful.

    How long till the first “Lets play TSA” child abuse case?

  39. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know how kids are playing with their Barbies these days, but I know when I was a kid it would have just recorded a lot of talking to other Barbie dolls and attempting to ride Breyer horses. Eh, who am I kidding, my parents couldn’t afford Barbie, I got cheap knock-off Barbie wanna-be’s.

    How sad that anyone should imagine a nefarious purpose for a toy when 99.9% of the toys will be used for perfectly innocent uses. Now when Uncle Bob gives his niece a hidden-cam Barbie for Christmas everyone is going to wonder about him…

  40. Egypt Urnash says:

    So someone wanting to use VGB to capture kiddie porn would have to:

    1. get the doll to the child

    2. ensure that it’s somewhere with a good view

    3. hope the child engages in activities that the person doing this will find arousing, rather than, say, picking up the doll and recording a documentary about the conflict between a plush dinosaur and a set of bookshelves (the controls are quiteobvious!)

    4. retrieve the VGB

    5. profit! thirty minutes of 640×480 webcam video!

    Now, if you actually wanted to enact a scenario of sneaking a toy into a kid’s room for purposes of getting naked kiddie video, you’d want to take a toy that is not designed for video functionality. Then hide a camera and enough electronics to drive it, and to hop onto open wi-fi (or closed; you might pre-program it with known wireless passwords if this was the child of an acquaintance) and squirt the video to a known target/serve it up on the web/whatever.

    You could do this via an Arduino-based solution for, what, eighty bucks for the guts? And a decent amount of mass. If you were a bit more handy with circuit design you could probably get the weight and power consumption down by building something more targeted – or you could google for “internet spy camera” and end up spending about $180 on something pre-built. Hide it in a toy that’s expected to have batteries changed, rather than pretending to be something unpowered, and you’ll have pretty much unlimited use.

    Honestly I don’t think VGB is going to be useful for surreptitious capture of kiddie pornography until she’s upgraded to Hidden Nannycam Barbie. Video Girl Barbie is more of a symbol of the personal panopticon than she is of the boogeyman who wants to ogle your child; she’s quite up-front that she has a video camera.

  41. johnnyaction says:

    Its much more likely that kids film themselves and the toy accidentally gets taken to school or left in an innocents car via carpool and problems resulting from that.

    TSA encouraging parents to tell their kids its a game when being groped by strangers is much more harmful.

    How long till the first “Lets play TSA” child abuse case?

  42. Dead Air says:

    I sure read a lot of comments from people who are looking for any reason to say the FBI is stupid even if it means overlooking the obvious. People who make child porn do videotape kids in nude and sexual situations, and while it’s often forced it just as often has an element of convincing the child everything is o.k. and to just listen to the adult. For the latter sicko, using a doll that the child is comfortable with to do the filming doesn’t seem a stretch at all. They probably wouldn’t be hiding the camera and retrieving it, just using a doll the child trusts to do the filming.

    No, it’s not the only way it could be done, which is unfortunate, because then it would be much easier to stop. But the FBI didn’t say it was the only way it could be done either, just that it may be a way it could. Good for them if they stop a child from being sexually abused or at least figure out a way to retrieve evidence to lock up somebody who’d do that.

    • mausium says:

      “I sure read a lot of comments from people who are looking for any reason to say the FBI is stupid even if it means overlooking the obvious. People who make child porn do videotape kids in nude and sexual situations, and while it’s often forced it just as often has an element of convincing the child everything is o.k. and to just listen to the adult. For the latter sicko, using a doll that the child is comfortable with to do the filming doesn’t seem a stretch at all. They probably wouldn’t be hiding the camera and retrieving it, just using a doll the child trusts to do the filming.”

      The FBI *and* you are both dumb for this, I don’t understand why they aren’t warning people about cellphone cameras or anything else that can be used to covertly cover molestation.

      This doesn’t get remotely accessed. It’s not WiFi. Here is an example of the FBI (and you) being willfully ignorant and fearful of technology they don’t understand.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps FBI must be more concerned about themselves being caught on video?

  44. Anonymous says:

    FBI Alert: Rocks Can Be Thrown At People!

  45. Anonymous says:

    At least equally likely is the girl catching her assaulter with it (in the almost guaranteed scenario it’s someone she knows, who her mother trusts) and having incontrovertible proof that can’t be ignored. Not only more likely, but a more serious crime!

    Why does the FBI hate little girls?

    Also need Spidey-cam for equal opportunity and appropriate context.

  46. redesigned says:

    i think we are going to see a lot of low resolution close up footage of naked ken uploaded to youtube soon.

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