Israeli security firm used to surveil Britney Spears by father

A former employee of the Israeli-owned firm reveals how the company was tasked with monitoring the singer's phone conversations, even planting a listening device in her bedroom

Singer Britney Spears arrives at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York (photo credit: REUTERS)
Singer Britney Spears arrives at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Britney Spears' father James Spears allegedly hired Israeli-owned security firm Black Box Security (BBX) to put his daughter under intrusive surveillance, according to a former BBX employee in The New York Times' upcoming documentary titled Controlling Britney Spears.

The documentary relies on evidence brought to light by a former employee, 30-year-old Alex Vlasov, who served as BBX's operations and cybersecurity manager and executive assistant to the CEO and founder, Edan Yemeni, for nine years.

Edan Yemeni was born in Israel and is described on the firm's website as having a background in the Israeli Special Forces.

Vlasov began working for BBX in 2012 and revealed through text messages, audio recordings, and emails the extent of the surveillance that the pop singer was subjected to under her conservatorship, facilitated by the firm.

Spears has been under conservatorship since a series of public mental breakdowns in 2008, which means that her father has had almost full control of her life for 13 years, including full financial control over her almost $60 million-worth estate.

Britney Spears performs in Tel Aviv (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER)Britney Spears performs in Tel Aviv (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER)

He revealed that the firm would monitor digital communications by mirroring her iCloud account to a separate iPod (and later an iPad), where Yemeni would tell Vlasov to encrypt private information such as texts, FaceTime calls, browser history, and photographs and forward it to Jamie Spears.

“Her own phone and her own private conversations were used so often to control her,” Vlasov said in the documentary.

Vlasov also shared how he was asked to delete over 180 hours' worth of recordings from a listening device that was planted in Spears' bedroom from a portable USB drive by Yemeni and another employee. Instead, he made a copy to preserve the evidence. 

Asked why he continued working for BBX and did not come forward despite the abuse, Vlasov expressed fear over the power Yemeni and other executives have in the industry, and if it would hurt future job prospects. In April, he left the firm saying coming forward is the right thing to do.

Addressing a Los Angeles court in June, Spears described the conservatorship as "abusive" and wanted it to end without additional psychiatric evaluations. In August, James Spears filed a petition to end the conservatorship.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for September 29.