Mexico Increasing Use of Electronic Surveillance in Fight against Crime

2/8/2017 InSight Crime

using smartphoneAuthorities in Mexico are increasingly making use of electronic surveillance in investigations and operations against organized crime, but the growing use of these tools raises questions about their effectiveness and potential for abuse.

A recent Milenio report revealed that over the past four years, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office has gained legal approval to tap more than 1,800 private telephone lines. The number of phone tap orders grew from 396 in 2013 to 584 in 2016, an increase of nearly 50 percent.

In addition, law enforcement during the past four years submitted more than 36,000 requests for information to various technology and communications companies including Google, Hotmail, Yahoo and Microsoft, as well as to private universities. Milenio reports that unlike phone taps, these requests for user information do not require judicial approval when they are related to organized crime investigations.

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