Investigation Into Mexican Government Surveillance With Israeli Software Hits Roadblock

Since at least 2013, there has been evidence that the Mexican government possesses sophisticated surveillance technology. But it was not until 2016, with the case dubbed #GobiernoEspía (#SpyGovernment), that Mexico found itself in an uproar over government surveillance at both the national and international levels. The case was made public in the middle of 2016 thanks to the investigation, documentation, and publication of jointly prepared report from non-profit civil and digital rights organizations Article 19, Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (R3D, Network in Defense of Digital Rights), SocialTIC, and the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab.

The investigation uncovered the government’s use of a surveillance software product called Pegasus to spy on reporters, activists and civil rights advocates under critical circumstances involving their work. The software was manufactured and sold to the Mexican government by the Israeli company NSO Group.


Since then, dozens of civil society organizations, national and international public figures and the victims of technical surveillance have united to speak out against indiscriminate and arbitrary surveillance practices.A joint general statement signed and published on June 19, 2017 read:

We demand fiscal accountability from the Mexican government regarding the use of malware to conduct espionage, thorough and transparent independent investigations, and sanctions against those responsible who, through the abuse of power, have decided to infringe upon the privacy of these advocates for social change. Additionally, we demand the legal reforms that are necessary to control state surveillance practices so that they comply with human rights parameters and guarantee fiscal accountability.

Unfortunately, eight months after this happened, and despite the fact that the authorities announced that they would initiate an investigation to establish who should be held responsible, no results or substantial advances in this regard have been seen.

Translation: #Spy Government In 2017 the New York Times published a report —>—> the Mexican government purchased a spying software —> for almost 80 million dollars —> PEGASUS —> That can only be used to spy on organized crime—> But they used it to spy on journalists and NGOs ([journalists] Aristegui, Loret, [organizations] ProDH, Mexicans Against Corruption, etc—>That’s illegal!  —> The victims reported the crime—> 8 months after the beginning of the investigation there’s no serious progress —> It’s a bureaucratic labyrinth —> The Attorney General’s Office is not going to investigate itself—>  To have a proper investigation, we need an autonomous (and independent) Attorney General’s Office —> So governmental abuses can be punished.


A difficult investigation

On February 20, 2018, a new report from The New York Times announced that, among other things, United States government officials had rejected requests from the Mexican government to aid in the investigations. The reason given was that they didn’t want to legitimize an investigation which, from the beginning, was thought to be corrupt.Indeed, the Office of the Attorney General (Procuraduría General de la República, commonly referred to as PGR) — the agency in charge of leading the investigation — is one of the federal government agencies that appeared to have bought and used this surveillance software.

In this new article from The New York Times, ex-assistant attorney general to the PGR Mario Ignacio Álvarez even stated:

Most likely, the politicians who used this software are slowing down the investigation so that it doesn’t move forward.This is a country where it is still better to pray to the Virgin Mary for justice than it is to go to the authorities.

The advocacy organizations that have been pressing for answers since the case was first uncovered recently called for the formation of a panel of independent experts that can, in contrast with the PGR, carry out an investigation that is reliable, impartial, and thorough to establish who is responsible and hold them accountable.In the statement, which was published on the same day as the last report from the NYT, the signatory organizations highlighted evidence of the federal government’s lack of intention to clarify the facts. They enumerated various actions that have not been taken to sanction those who were guilty of using this kind of illegal surveillance.

  • In the dossier, the Criminal Investigation Agency of the PGR accepted that licenses to use Pegasus were obtained and that the equipment on which said software was used was found in its offices in Mexico City. However, the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against Freedom of Speech (FEADLE), which is in charge of the case, hasn’t taken any action regarding the Criminal Investigation Agency despite these elements along with repeated requests to do so from the accusers and recommendations by qualified experts in the investigation, such as Citizen Lab.
  • The agents who were trained to operate Pegasus have not been identified or interviewed.
  • No visits to the facilities in which the software was used have been made.
  • The surveillance cameras, records, logs, and security measures involved with system usage have not been reviewed.
  • No formal request for the contract and technical appendix through which they acquired Pegasus has been made, despite the fact that this has already been called for by the press.
  • […]


Media, citizens, and artists demand answers

All of the above has been summarized in the episode “Cyberwar, the Pegasus case” from the documentary series “Cyberwar” by VICE media, which its producers describe as being dedicated to exposing the cyber espionage networks that exist in different parts of the world.

Translation: In the face of #GobiernoEspía and the lack of investigation, R3Dmx, @CentroProdh and @article19mex demand an independent investigation, since there haven’t been any advances in 8 months.The documentary “Cyberwar” by @VICE reveals the use of Pegasus by the Mexican government.

The Mexican government hasn’t made any announcements up to now, although the demands for accountability continue. As recently as 25 February, the artistic community, civil society organizations, activists and journalists joined together not only to celebrate that the play “Privacidad” (“Privacy,” starring Diego Luna and Luis Gerardo Méndez) had completed 100 performances, but also to publicly condemn the fact that the crimes continue to go unpunished.Some of the people who were targets of the surveillance by Pegasus participated in the celebration, as well as Edward Snowden.

Translation: Edward Snowden highlighted the brave exposure made by those targeted by the Spy Government and congratulated the team behind the play “Privacy” for amplifying the importance of that right.

Translated by Kim Woo

Top Photo | In this June 28, 2017 photo, a journalist makes a sign that reads in Spanish “Spy government” during a demonstration at the Sinaloa state attorney general’s office against the killing of yet another journalist and demanding justice for the killing of Riodoce journalist Javier Valdez in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, Mexico. Recently it has been revealed that spyware sold exclusively to governments had been used to monitor journalists and activists in Mexico. (AP/Enric Marti)

Global Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

The post Investigation Into Mexican Government Surveillance With Israeli Software Hits Roadblock appeared first on MintPress News.


Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Pass Blue 20
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 12
John Pilger 408
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 27
Need To Know News 1471
FEE 2916
Marine Le Pen 214
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 459
Mohamed Omar 224
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 37
Angry Foreigner 16
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 64
Vetenskapsradion Historia 107
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 168
Les Crises 1703
Richard Falk 105
Ian Sinclair 74
SpinWatch 50
Counter Currents 5719
Kafila 324
Gail Malone 33
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 86
The Duran 6235
Vanessa Beeley 91
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 4442
Paul Craig Roberts 1046
News Junkie Post 44
Nomi Prins 21
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 3137
Sir Ken Robinson 16
Stephan Kinsella 60
Liberty Blitzkrieg 777
Sami Bedouin 61
Consortium News 2084
21 Century Wire 2801
Burning Blogger 274
Stephen Gowans 66
David D. Friedman 125
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1445
Tom Dispatch 386
Levant Report 17
The Saker 3236
The Barnes Review 462
John Friend 349
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 2932
School Sucks Project 1725
Giza Death Star 1495
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 559
GMWatch 1705
Robert Faurisson 138
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 672
Le 4ème singe 86
Jacob Cohen 197
Agora Vox 9789
Cercle Des Volontaires 415
Panamza 1530
Fairewinds 103
Project Censored 684
Spy Culture 338
Conspiracy Archive 58
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 470
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 497
Independent Science News 65
The Anti Media 5213
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 258
The Mind renewed 207
Natural Society 2401
Yanis Varoufakis 777
Tragedy & Hope 121
Dr. Tim Ball 62
Web of Debt 121
Porkins Policy Review 332
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 547
Libyan War Truth 273
DeadLine Live 1895
Kevin Ryan 61
Aaron Franz 180
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 119
Dr. Bruce Levine 105
Peter B Collins 1292
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 9251
Climate Audit 219
Donna Laframboise 333
Judith Curry 1039
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1901
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 90
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 9745
Laura Wells Solutions 26
Video Rebel's Blog 407
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 17280
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2583
Northerntruthseeker 1979
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4570 Blog 2604 Original Content 5946
Corbett Report 2032
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1089
Webster Tarpley Website 896

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public