Privacy SOS

Los Angeles rapper references Stingray cell phone surveillance in song about Ezell Ford and police violence

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Los Angeles musician Ceebo tha Rapper caused a stir in his sunny city in August 2014 when he released a song and video about the LAPD's killing of his friend Ezell Ford, called "F*ck The Police". He's now come out with a second song and video, in what seems like an attempt to further elaborate on what he meant by that four letter word. The media got it twisted, he seems to be saying. The video is extremely powerful, and directly calls out the top cop in LA for his department's human rights violations:

Mr. Officer / Mr. Disrespect / Mr. Label Me A Threat / Mr. Charlie Beck / Yeah I know your name / Mr. Global Game / Mr. Ain't Gon Take That Blame / When that gun go bang / Mr. Make You Need 'Em / He make you pay for freedom / Mr. The One Who Pays The Judge / So you can't defeat him

Later in the song, Ceebo addresses police surveillance. He talks about helicopters and drones, and also seems to reference IMSI catchers, sometimes known as Stingrays.

Yeah I see you Mister / I know you in disguise / I know you watching from the sky / Mr. Eagle Eye / Mr. Can Use Your Phone / Mr. Will Use A Drone / Mr. Will Come At You And Listen / Even in your home…

As I've reported here many times, Stingray devices allow law enforcement or other users to intercept and track cell phone use. Some models also allow officers to manipulate phones themselves, enabling cops to send messages or make calls from phones that belong to people they are targeting.

These surveillance technologies have barely entered the media zeitgeist in the past year or so. But they've already been used in Ceebo tha Rapper's black Los Angeles community to the extent that he's referencing them in a song.

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