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POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 87 Like most 16-year-olds, Renee's world is in her bedroom. She hangs out there with her friends, and spends hours on her computer. But Renee isn't just sending e-mails or surfing the web aimlessly. She's running a highly profitable Internet business from here, one she says has earned her as much as $2,000 a month. But what's she's doing in her bedroom would make a lot of mothers blush. Renee is a “Cam Girl”-- just one of hundreds of young girls who compete for attention on the Web by putting webcam photos and videos of themselves online. Her site gets thousands of visitors every day. But it isn't free: For four days it's $5.95; for a month it's $15.95; for six months it's $59.95. What do you get for your money? There’s chat, information about how she does her hair and where she shops, and Renee’s daily journal. Renee has also posted more than 500 photos on the site. Some of them are sweet, some are strange, many are provocative. There is no nudity, however. Renee's mother Barbara claims she is mystified by Renee's virtual success, saying she has “no idea” why the site is so popular. “I hope it's her writing skills,” she says. But Renee thinks differently: “They're hoping to see goodies. A lot of people think that my being 16 and on the Internet is horrible. But they fail to realize that I'm not getting nude.” 48 Hours promised to keep Renee's last name secret, and won't reveal where she lives. She and her mother say anonymity is what keeps customers where they want them: on the other side of the Web cam. “I've had people who are around 54 go to my Web site. And it's kinda scary at first. It's like, ‘Why are these people here?’ I'm not anybody special. I'm just a little kid,” Renee says. Her mother says that older guys will look at her daughter no matter what. “They look at her in the grocery store. So I mean they're gonna look at her no matter where she's at,” Barbara says. Then, there is the money. In addition to the member fees, Renee also gets paid for directly linking her Web site to other Web sites, including one that is pornographic. That link paid her $600 to $800 a month. “I was uncomfortable with it. But she made some pretty good money with it,” says Barbara. There also a "wish list," where Renee asks for--and receives--gifts from admirers. The list has included such items as a Sony Playstation, a digital camera, and kitchen accessories. The gift givers usually remain totally anonymous. After a few hours of shooting, Renee and her mother refused to co-operate further with 48 Hours, MMIII, CBS BROADCASTING INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. JAN. 8, 2003 A Teen Makes Money With A Controversial Site (cont’d...) Renee says she makes $2,000 a month from her Web site. (CBS)

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