(Prensa Latina) The Mexican newspaper La Jornada has asked to investigate the alleged espionage conducted by Israel’s NSO agency using software supplied to governments, and reveals that personnel close to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador were subject to surveillance.
The information, coming from Great Britain, confirms that at least 50 people close to López Obrador were followed between 2016 and 2017, before the election in which the current President of Mexico came out victorious, including his wife, children and brothers.
The note, published on The Guardian newspaper, was based on ‘a leak’ of more than 50 thousand phone numbers selected for possible espionage of government clients of the NSO Group around the world.
The list, first accessed by the French nonprofit media outlet Forbidden Stories, was shared with The Guardian and over a dozen other outlets.
NSO Group issued a statement defending itself arguing that it has no target list but it was derived from services like HLR Lookup, open and free to anyone online.
As The Guardian reminded, The Secretariat of National Defense and the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico were clients of the NSO Group during the administration of former President Enrique Peña Nieto.
In 2017, Citizen Lab, a group of researchers from the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, revealed that civilians in Mexico were targeted by the ‘Pegasus’ software sold by the NSO Group only to governments.
The targets included telephones of journalists, human rights activists and experts who investigated the disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014. La Jornada, two of whose journalists were involved in the espionage, recalled in its investigation request that the existence of Pegasus and at least three Mexican government agencies have been known to use it since June 2017.