Youth-Created Apps Look to Boost Debate on Corruption in Mexico

3/19/2017 teleSUR

using smartphoneTeaching kids anti-corruption values, comparing politicians and reporting corrupt public works? In Mexico, there’s an app for that.

Three new innovative apps are hoping to promote a debate about corruption in Mexico and urging citizens to take part to checking abuses of power before they happen.

Caza Corruptos, Ligue Politico and Obra Chueca were all developed by Mexican youth and won 2016 Anti-Corruption Innovation Prizes in a contest organized by Opciona and Telefonica Open Future.

Winning the prize for best conceptual idea, Caza Corruptos — which roughly translates to “corruption hunting” — is a game app geared toward children between 7 and 12 years of age with the aim of teaching the value of transparency and honesty in a playful way.

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Mexico may force Slim’s America Movil to separate fixed unit

2/28/2017 Reuters

carlos slimMexico’s telecoms regulator has discussed forcing billionaire Carlos Slim to legally separate part of his fixed-line unit Telmex from the rest of the company, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would intensify antitrust rules against the company.

Late on Monday, the regulator’s seven-person board voted on whether to toughen, maintain or loosen rules against America Movil (AMXL.MX) and broadcaster Grupo Televisa (TLVACPO.MX), according to the three people, who declined to be named as deliberations were not public.

Reuters could not confirm whether they decided to force Slim’s company to separate off part of Telmex. However, two of the sources said they expected the proposal was on the table.

Representatives of America Movil and Televisa declined to comment. A spokesman for the regulator confirmed there was a board meeting on Monday but declined to elaborate.

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Mexico Regulator Plans Vote on America Movil, Televisa Rules

2/27/2017 New York Times

televisa-logoMEXICO CITY — Mexico’s telecommunications regulator plans to discuss and vote later on Monday on the antitrust rules in place against Carlos Slim’s America Movil and broadcaster Grupo Televisa, three people familiar with the matter said.

The measures were part of a sweeping reform of the sector sought by President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government to reign in the country’s telecoms and broadcasting oligopolies.

The rules are revised periodically to see whether the board wants to toughen, maintain or loosen regulations based on how markets are evolving.

A spokesman for regulator the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) said a board meeting was planned for Monday, but did not confirm what the topic would be.

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Spyware’s Odd Targets: Backers of Mexico’s Soda Tax

2/11/2017 New York Times

using smartphoneSAN FRANCISCO — Last summer, Dr. Simón Barquera’s phone started buzzing with a series of disturbing text messages from unknown numbers. One said his daughter had been in a serious accident. Another claimed to be from a friend whose father had died — with a link to funeral details.

Yet another message informed Dr. Barquera, the director of nutrition policy at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, that a Mexican news outlet had accused him of negligence, again with a link. And in more menacing messages, someone claimed to be sleeping with Dr. Barquera’s wife. That included a link to what the sender claimed was photo evidence of their affair.

That same week, Luis Manuel Encarnación, then the director at Fundación Mídete, a foundation in Mexico City that battles obesity, also started receiving strange messages with links. When he clicked, Mr. Encarnación was ominously redirected to Gayosso, Mexico’s largest funeral service.

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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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Rise of the machines: Fear robots, not China or Mexico

1/30/2017 CNN Money

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by Ron Hoover

President Trump portrays Mexico, China and global trade as the biggest threats to American manufacturing jobs.

“It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost,” Trump tweeted on January 26.

His predecessor also offered a warning to American workers, of a different kind.

“The next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good middle class jobs obsolete,” President Obama said in his farewell address.

Research supports Obama’s claim. Far more jobs are lost to robots and automation — better technology — than trade with China, Mexico or any other country.

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Association for Advancing Automation (A3) Launches Trade Association in Mexico

1/19/2017 Business Wire

automobileANN ARBOR, Mich.- Today the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the leading global advocate for the benefits of automating, announced that it is forming a not-for-profit trade association that is specifically dedicated to supporting and promoting the rapidly growing Mexican automation industry. With the world’s 11th largest economy, Mexico is home to a vast array of industries including substantial automotive and aerospace manufacturing sectors. In 2015, industry-wide sales of robots in Mexico almost tripled to 6,320 units, exceeding $243 million.

A3 is embracing Mexico’s broad-based growth and potential by forming a new association, A3 Mexico, focused on this expanding market. A3 is the umbrella group for Robotic Industries Association (RIA), AIA – Advancing Vision + Imaging, and Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA). In Mexico, RIA, AIA, and MCMA will operate as individual groups under A3 Mexico.

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