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Thursday, July 15, 1999 Published at 09:04 GMT 10:04 UK

World: Americas

'Lights out' at Voyeur Dorm

Not just a bunch of ordinary students, the authorities say

Officials in Florida are pulling the plug on an Internet site which features live round-the-clock pictures from a women's college dorm.

The site, called Voyeur Dorm, has fallen foul of regulations governing adult entertainment businesses which operate from private houses.

The site promises that "nothing is off-limits", offering the chance to "peer into the private lives" of six students.

Ana Walltrapp explains the citizens' board's decision
"We're not there to tell anyone what they can and can't do in their home", Ana Wallrapp, a member of the citizens' board in Tampa, told the BBC.

But she said Voyeur Dorm represented "inappropriate business use" at the house.

The board ruled unanimously that the location for Voyeur Dorm needed an adult occupational license to continue its activities.

"These folks are basically taking their clothes off for profit," Ms Wallrapp said. "Cameras pointed at body parts ... it was clear that this was definitely an adult use location."

'Neat concept'

The college students, identified as Alex, Amber, Milla, Robyn, Tamara and Trixie, allegedly aged between 19 and 22, live in a house in Tampa equipped with 34 TV cameras.

[ image: Innocent, and not-so-innocent, pleasures for voyeurs]
Innocent, and not-so-innocent, pleasures for voyeurs
The women are said to receive free board and lodging in return for their participation in Voyeur Dorm.

"I thought it was a neat concept. I don't know why people are making such a big deal out of nothing," Alex told journalists.

She said the arrangement means her family is not burdened with the costs of her college education.

By contrast, subscribers to the site, said to number about 5,000, are asked to come up with a $34 monthly fee for access to the live feeds from the dorm.

The owners of Voyeur Dorm - Dan Marshlack, who owns the house, and the Seattle-based Internet Entertainment Group, which publishes numerous pornographic Internet sites - say they will appeal against the decision.

They argue that they are not in violation of housing regulations because it is an entirely Internet-based business and no customers come to the house.

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