Parents and child safety experts concerned about the online activities of teenagers have been particularly nervous about a Web site called Stickam, which allows its 600,000 registered users, age 14 and older, to participate in unfiltered live video chats using their Web cameras.
But those Internet safety advocates might be even more anxious if they knew of Stickam’s close ties to a large online pornography business.
On its Web site and in press reports, Stickam says that it is owned by Advanced Video Communications, or AVC, a three-year-old Los Angeles company that sells video conferencing and e-commerce services to businesses in Japan and other Asian countries.
But according to Alex Becker, a former vice president at Stickam, and internal company documents, Advanced Video Communications is managed and owned by Wataru Takahashi, a Japanese businessman who also owns and operates DTI Services, a vast network of Web sites offering live sex shows over Web cameras. Mr. Becker alleges that Stickam shares office space, employees and computer systems with the pornographic Web sites.