Under the tree or under fire?
Is this year's hot Christmas toy headed into the Witness Protection Program?Barbie Video Girl's FBI ordeal
We never thought that Barbie and child porn could be considered a match made in sicko heaven, but the Barbie Video Girl (a doll with a camera hidden in a gaudy necklace), has spurred the FBI to release a cyber alert that the high tech Barbie could encourage child pornography.
The toy is a nominee for 2011 Toy of the Year, and can film up to 30 minutes of footage from a tiny camera lens, after which it can be downloaded and saved onto a computer. The camera is hidden in Barbie's necklace. When you turn the doll around, you can watch whatever you recorded. The footage can also be put on the Internet.
"At first blush," said J. Robert Flores, former deputy chief prosecutor in the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, "people will minimize the threat this kind of toy poses. But as soon as I heard it, I thought this was a recipe for disaster."
We see it as an opportunity for Barbie to engender a new generation of progressive female cinematographers. The Chicago Tribune reports that Mattel has no plans of removing the doll from store shelves.
And the FBI is back tracking somewhat, saying that the cyber alert it sent out was intended only for law enforcement agencies and mistakenly released to the media and "taken out of context."
What do you think of the new Barbie Video Girl and all the furor? Overblown fear or legitimate concern?