This Government Spying Scandal Feels Eerily Familiar
The National Palace in Mexico City has been home for Mexican ruling classes since the Aztec empire. Its main courtyard is adorned with a fountain crowned by a baroque sculpture of Pegasus, the winged mythological stallion. Pegasus has thus presided over the centre of power in Mexico since 1625.
It was Enrico Martnez (1560 1632), a cosmographer who worked for King Phillip II of Spain, who chose the Pegasus constellation as the cosmic ruler of Mexico’s destiny, recalling that Pegasus created a spring whose waters protected the muses and “made men wise.”
Mexico could use a little more Pegasus these days. Last month, the New York Times raised a ruckus in Mexico and abroad when it revealed that President Enrique Pea Nieto’s administration was using sophisticated spyware to keep watch over prominent journalists and human rights activists in the country.
SpyingGovernment, or the autocrat’s apprentice
Canada Goose online The spyware known canada goose discount uk paradoxically as Pegasus collects all communications of a targeted smartphone if the recipient opens a malicious link sent via text message. It is purportedly meant canada goose jacket outlet store for fighting canada goose outlet mississauga criminal organisations, such as drug cartels, and terrorism. Canada Goose online
The report spotlighted by the New York Times, which was also distributed through social networks under the hashtag GobiernoEspa (SpyingGovernment), was prepared by the Mexican NGOs Artculo 19, R3D canada goose outlet mall and SocialTic, canada goose victoria parka outlet with support from the Canada based Citizen Lab. It alleges that the Mexican government purchased over US$80 million worth of the spyware from the Israeli NSO Group.
canada goose black friday sale Over 76 text messages containing the Pegasus canada goose outlet online reviews malware were sent to members of the international team investigating the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, in 2014, lobbyists working on anti corruption legislation and to Pea Nieto’s political opponents. canada goose black friday sale
Critical journalists were goose outlet canada targeted, too. Among them was Carmen Aristegui, the reporter who exposed the biggest government corruption case to date when she uncovered that Pea Nieto’s wife, Anglica Rivera, had purchased a lavish mansion in one of the most expensive areas of Mexico City. Aristegui’s underage son was also a victim of attempted espionage.
The texted spyware links were accompanied by personalised messages of intimidation or insinuation, many of them sexual in tone. Some people received crude taunts; others, accusations of leaked sex tapes.
Pea Nieto, a technology fan, CC BY
The scandal has marked a new low for the crisis canada goose outlet store quebec ridden Mexican government. In a June 22 press conference, Pea Nieto acknowledged that his government had bought Pegasus, but denied that it had ordered the surveillance.
canada goose coats Former US president Barack Obama, for example, created one of the most intrusive surveillance apparatus in the world, a reminder that the nexus between safety and liberty is delicate and violable. canada goose coats
Canada Goose Online Pea Nieto’s Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI), which ruled Mexico unstopped for seven decades, also has prior experience in exercising untrammelled violence over its opponents. For any Mexican born before 2000, there is something uncannily familiar about the turning Pegasus into a Mexican Big Brother. Canada Goose Online
In canada goose outlet shop 1947, under the PRI presdient Miguel Alemn Valds (1946 1952), the Direccin Federal de Seguridad (Federal Security Directorate, DFS) was created with the duty of preserving the internal stability of Mexico against subversion and terrorist threats.
Throughout the Cold War and after, an unsettled period that in Mexico is often referred to as the Guerra Sucia (1954 2000), the DFS was a key element in the conflict between the US backed PRI governments and the left wing student and guerrilla groups it was fighting, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s.
Under the consecutive presidencies of Luis Echeverra (1970 canada goose outlet 1976) and Jos Lpez Portillo (1976 1982), espionage was a crucial tool for both identifying opponents of the Mexican state and hiding or eliminating the information that would have made the government accountable for its actions.
canada goose store This history was hidden away for years. In 2003, president Vicente Fox, the first non PRI president to rule the country in 70 years, requested a report on the Mexican government’s counter insurgency actions during the Dirty War. canada goose store
The final document stated that over the canadagoosepark.com course of a half century the Mexican army had “kidnapped, tortured, and killed hundreds of rebel suspects”, accusing the state of genocide.
cheap canada goose uk The Pegasus scandal thus marks the second time in 15 years that Mexican citizens have learnt the dangers of unfettered state intrusion into their private lives. So, in his June press conference on the subject, Pea Nieto promised an investigation into the misuse of the spyware. cheap canada goose uk
Canada Goose Coats On Sale Then he moved onto threats, warning that the attorney general’s office would “apply the law against those who have levelled false accusations against the government”. Canada Goose Coats On Sale
“This not the expected behaviour of the head of state of a young democracy,” Juan Pardinas, the head of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, who was a hacking target, told the New York Times. “This is the statement of an apprentice of Vladimir Putin.”
canada goose factory sale Pea Nieto later said he misspoke and did not intend to threaten anyone. canada goose factory sale
Canada Goose sale “What I said,” he clarified, “was precisely to follow up on the criminal complaints that some activists have filed regarding this supposed spying.” Canada Goose sale.