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.


Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
John Pilger 402
The Real News 332
Scrutinised Minds 18
Need To Know News 1054
FEE 2207
Marine Le Pen 143
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 50
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 349
Mohamed Omar 189
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 37
Angry Foreigner 15
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 28
Filosofiska rummet 55
Vetenskapsradion Historia 95
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 154
Les Crises 1258
Richard Falk 74
Ian Sinclair 60
SpinWatch 34
Counter Currents 4139
Kafila 283
Gail Malone 27
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 78
The Duran 5138
Vanessa Beeley 77
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 3361
Paul Craig Roberts 830
News Junkie Post 42
Nomi Prins 20
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 2378
Sir Ken Robinson 15
Stephan Kinsella 48
Liberty Blitzkrieg 732
Sami Bedouin 60
Consortium News 1831
21 Century Wire 2490
Burning Blogger 253
Stephen Gowans 48
David D. Friedman 119
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1370
Tom Dispatch 328
Levant Report 17
The Saker 2746
The Barnes Review 434
John Friend 316
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 122
New Eastern Outlook 2681
School Sucks Project 1088
Giza Death Star 1313
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 541
GMWatch 1478
Robert Faurisson 119
Espionage History Archive 33
Jay's Analysis 577
Le 4ème singe 81
Jacob Cohen 182
Agora Vox 7625
Cercle Des Volontaires 394
Panamza 1311
Fairewinds 102
Project Censored 555
Spy Culture 297
Conspiracy Archive 56
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 332
PINAC 1472
The Conscious Resistance 449
Independent Science News 63
The Anti Media 4333
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 51
Lionel 236
The Mind renewed 195
Natural Society 2391
Yanis Varoufakis 693
Tragedy & Hope 106
Dr. Tim Ball 53
Web of Debt 116
Porkins Policy Review 291
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 513
Libyan War Truth 262
DeadLine Live 1889
Kevin Ryan 59
Aaron Franz 157
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 109
Dr. Bruce Levine 95
Peter B Collins 1186
Faux Capitalism 203
Dissident Voice 8622
Climate Audit 213
Donna Laframboise 270
Judith Curry 1008
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1709
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 85
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 8850
Laura Wells Solutions 15
Video Rebel's Blog 398
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 15840
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2396
Northerntruthseeker 1836
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4500 Blog 2382 Original Content 5468
Corbett Report 1913
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1036
Webster Tarpley Website 788

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public