Mex­ico crit­ics tar­geted with spy­ware

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

PROMI­NENT Mex­i­can jour­nal­ists, ac­tivists and lawyers who have been out­spo­ken crit­ics of their gov­ern­ment have been tar­gets of a spy­ware that gov­ern­ment agen­cies ac­quired un­der the guise of fight­ing ter­ror­ism, a new New York Times in­ves­ti­ga­tion has re­vealed.

The re­port says at least three fed­eral agen­cies have bought spy­ware from an Is­raeli com­pany for a sum of $80 mil­lion since 2011.

One soft­ware – Pe­ga­sus – can hack a smart­phone and ac­quire calls, text mes­sages and e-mails, as well as con­trol the de­vice’s mi­cro­phone and cam­era.

Lawyers work­ing on the case of 43 Ay­otz­i­napa stu­dents forcibly dis­ap­peared in 2014, who have ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of neg­li­gence and an at­tempted cover-up of the iconic in­ci­dent, re­ceived fake mes­sages with a link to a story re­lated to the case.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, such text mes­sages func­tioned to open a phone up to the spy­ware.

“We have al­ways sus­pected they spied on us and lis­tened to us,” Mario Pa­tron, one of the lawyers in­volved in the case told the New York Times. teleSUR

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