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TMCNet:  Duluth sauna streams UMD webcam video

[May 04, 2010]

Duluth sauna streams UMD webcam video

May 04, 2010 (Duluth News Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- University of Minnesota Duluth staff members abruptly shut down a live webcam at the UMD Library on Monday after learning that its images were being streamed over a website for the Duluth Family Sauna.

The Duluth Family Sauna, which is listed on the Worldwide Gay Sauna Guide and advertises free condoms for guests and the availability of private rooms with locks, titled the UMD streaming video "Stalking Local Wildlife at the UMD Library." UMD had set up the camera and directed it at a section of the library shortly after it was built so viewers could see the interior, and this is the first reported misuse of it, said Linda Deneen, director of information technology systems and services at UMD.

"We've had this webcam up for a long time, and apparently they discovered it and decided they might use it to ... I don't know," Deneen said.

She said it isn't difficult to "point to an existing stream and have it appear on your page." According to the sauna's website, the business is owned by Herb Jensen.

A man who answered the phone at the Duluth Family Sauna on Monday evening said he was the manager but would not give his name. He said the link to the web camera and title were suggested by UMD students who are customers.

"It was obviously a joke," he said.

He said the link to the camera has been on his website for "several years," and during that time no one complained either in person or in writing. He said he would change the caption or take the link down. When he was told that UMD officials had shut down the webcam, he said: "That's silly. Why not let us know they were bothered by it?" To see more of the Duluth News Tribune, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/. Copyright (c) 2010, Duluth News Tribune, Minn. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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