The premiere of The New York Times documentary “Controlling Britney Spears” has brought new and explosive revelations to what started two and a half years ago as a small fan-based fringe movement. The #FreeBritney campaign has now reached a fever pitch.
The documentary features Alex Vlasov, a former employee of Black Box Security, an agency retained and hired by Ms. Spears’ father James, aka Jamie. Mr. Vlasov’s credentials appear sound enough: “Executive Assistant and Operations and Cybersecurity Manager for Black Box.” (Apparently he was also close to the company’s founder, which always helps)
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2021-09-27/britney-spears-lawyer-goes-off-on-dad-mr-spears-has-crossed-unfathomable-lines Given that he held that position for nearly a decade, it is easy to see how he has so much hard evidence to support his claims: emails, text messages and audio recordings. Hopefully, Mr. Vlasov also made copies of the agreements that allowed him to conduct this investigative activity he apparently supervised.
In my work as a former federal agent with the Department of Justice, my experience included monitoring wiretaps on organized crime figures both foreign and domestic. The paperwork and due diligence needed to prove the need for these surveillance techniques is extensive and laborious. They are the last means to obtain indictments and arrest warrants on high-echelon violators suspected of egregious crimes. I am now the president of one of the nation’s leading private investigative agencies, where surveillance, security and electronic eavesdropping detection sweeps are the mainstays of our business. Please note: that’s “detection,” not actually monitoring recordings from someone’s personal bedroom. We find hidden bugs, we don’t plant them.
I found this next statement quite an interesting deflection. The New York Times reported that the chief executive and founder of Black Box Security “did not respond to detailed questions.” In a statement, his lawyer said, “Mr. Yemini and Black Box have always conducted themselves within professional, ethical and legal bounds, and they are particularly proud of their work in keeping Ms. Spears safe for many years.” Need I point out safety is not the issue. Privacy is. If no consent was given by Ms. Spears for these audio and video records, then an immediate investigation should begin. See if the District Attorney has the wherewithal to prosecute criminally, then let the civil lawsuits start.
Here is where we get to the heart of the matter: Jamie Spears’ lawyer was quoted as stating, “All of his actions were well within the parameters of the authority conferred upon him by the courts. His actions were done with the knowledge and consent of Britney Spears, her court-appointed attorney, and/or the court.” California is a two-party state, meaning if an audio recording is to be initiated, BOTH parties have to agree. So the key question is a simple one: Who signed the agreement with Black Box, under whose direction? Was Ms. Spears ever informed of the reach and scope of their work “protecting” her?
As an investigator with 50-some years of experience, the idea of video and audio recording someone’s bedroom without their knowledge is abhorrent. It beggars belief that Ms. Spears would have signed off on such an arrangement. If she actually agreed to such terms, then maybe a more compelling case could be made that she actually did need a conservatorship in place. If it turns out that her father actually made these arrangements without her knowledge, I defer to Ms. Spears’s attorney, who today blasted him, saying: “Mr. Spears engaged in horrifying and unconscionable invasions of his adult daughter’s privacy.”
A final note: Mr. Vlasov is quoted as stating, “It really reminded me of somebody that was in prison, and security was put in a position to be the prison guards.” Any person who works at or visits a prison, let alone the inmates who reside there, is fully aware that their every move is being videoed and audio recorded. Did Ms. Spears really have less knowledge of what was happening in her own home than your average California inmate?
On September 29, 2021, Judge Brenda J. Penny, in what many describe as a landmark decision, stated, “I do believe that the suspension of James Spears as conservator…is in the best interest of the conservatee.” This means the pop singer is one step closer to realizing her freedom.
Thomas G. Martin is a former supervisory Federal agent and the owner of Martin Investigative Services, a full-service private investigation firm, providing corporate investigation, bug sweeps, background checks, missing person investigations, surveillance, interrogation services and more. With corporate offices in Orange County’s Newport Beach, Martin oversees 22 private investigators, many of whom are former agents with the FBI, DEA, IRS and Secret Service. He is the author of SEEING LIFE THROUGH PRIVATE EYES.
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