Mexico to Investigate Spying Campaign Against Journalists and Activists

6/21/2017 The New York Times

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Credit Alfredo Estrella/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government said Wednesday that it was opening a criminal investigation to determine whether the nation’s most prominent journalists, human rights defenders and anticorruption activists were subjected to illegal government surveillance.

The announcement followed an article by The New York Times that detailed a sweeping operation using advanced spyware to infiltrate a target’s smartphone, turning it into a power surveillance tool.

The software, known as Pegasus, was sold to the Mexican government by an Israeli cyberarms company on the condition that it be used for the sole purpose of investigating criminals and terrorists. But the spyware was deployed against some of Mexico’s most influential reporters and activists, including a highly respected academic pushing for anticorruption legislation, two of Mexico’s most famous journalists, and lawyers looking into the case of 43 students who mysteriously disappeared after clashing with the police.

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