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Video Barbie Gets FBI Warning: 'Possible Child Pornography Production Method'

First Posted: 12/03/10 06:27 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:15 PM ET

Video Barbie Fbi
The FBI has apparently issued an internal warning about a new Video Barbie doll.

Beware of Barbie.

That seems to be the message from the FBI after an internal memo reportedly leaked from the agency's Sacramento field office this week.

The memo (PDF) warns that Barbie Video Girl, a doll with a built-in video camera capable of recording for about 30 minutes, is a "possible child pornography production method."

There have been no reported incidents since the toy was first released in July. Washington television station NWCN received a statement from Mattel, the toy's manufacturer, in response to the memo:

The FBI is not reporting that anything has happened. Steve Dupre from the FBI Sacramento field office has confirmed there have been no incidents of this doll being used as anything other than its intent. 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.

The FBI memo, dated November 30, seems to be a few months behind TechCrunch, where reviewer Paul Carr called the product "child abuse waiting to happen" during a review at the time of the product's release. He described it as "creepy," then read from a press release from the PR firm that sent Tech Crunch the toy: "Unsuspecting subjects won't know that Barbie is watching their every move."

"This is for frickin' pedophiles!" Carr exclaimed.

While the product's capabilities may give some parents second thoughts, it appears to be a hot item this holiday season. A reporter for CBS 13 in Sacramento found that a local WalMart was sold out of the item, and also said that it was sold out online.

KIRO in Washington reports that the FBI has had cases of child abuse involving Barbie dolls as well as cases involving hidden cameras, which makes them worried about the combination in this particular toy.

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Filed by Adam J. Rose  |