Since 2011, the presence of the Pegasus program in Mexico has been documented, but it was during Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration that its use reached scandal levels.
In June 2017, The New York Times, Article 19, R3D, Social Tic and Citizen Lab identified the first targets of espionage, among which were activists, journalists and human rights defenders.
As part of that investigation, 25 victims were detected in Mexico. With the Pegasus Project, today it can be estimated that potential espionage victims number in the thousands.
Since 2017, journalists and human rights organizations have filed complaints with the then PGR, thus opening an investigation that is now continuing from the Attorney General’s Office.
Aristegui Noticias published that the program has been at least in the hands of federal agencies such as the Attorney General’s Office, the Mexican Army and the now-defunct Center for Research and National Security (CISEN). There is information that state governments have purchased similar equipment and programs.
Since the # GobiernoEspía report was published, no federal authority has made the use of these programs transparent or prosecuted those responsible for the illegal and illegitimate use of this type of system.
Pegasus Project is an international investigation that reveals for the first time the existence of more than 50 thousand telephone numbers that were selected for the purpose of espionage by the clients of the company NSO Group, a leading company in the world of cyber espionage.
In the investigation coordinated by Forbidden Stories, the French organization dedicated to investigative journalism, and Amnesty International, more than 80 journalists from around the world from 17 media and organizations participate, among which is Aristegui Noticias.
The Washington Post, Le Monde, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, The Guardian, Daraj, Direkt36, Le Soir, Knack, Radio France, The Wire, The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Haaretz, PBS Frontline, Aristegui Noticias y Proceso are part this international research.
The information presented here points to the responsibility of dozens of governments and institutions that used Pegasus against all kinds of leaders, leaders, journalists, activists and human rights defenders, without valid justification, court orders or any reason of State.
Throughout the investigation, it was documented that the system operators targeted more than 500 diplomats, more than 1,200 officials, around 250 human rights defenders and at least 180 journalists. Among the thousands of registered numbers appear at least 12 heads of state, whose numbers were targeted by clients of the program while they were in office in their respective countries.
During the investigation it was not possible to know how many of those thousands of numbers were subjected to spying with Pegasus. It was possible to corroborate through forensic analysis 37 cases of phones that had been successfully infected with the software created by NSO.
The Israeli company NSO Group developed one of the most intrusive and efficient spy systems in the world. He created software that, due to its effectiveness and scope, has been acquired in dozens of countries, in different regions of the world.
Despite the fact that the company affirms that the software can only be used against criminal objectives or those that threaten the security of the States, the truth is that today there is evidence that Pegasus has been used without complying with the company’s standards. that created it or the laws of the countries where it operates.
The information allows us to know that those who have used Pegasus not only put a person as their target, but also include their family, friends, co-workers and everything that has to do with the person being spied on in the attack.
The revised data describes the program’s operations since 2016 and to date in 50 nations. Some countries have dozens of targets selected and only a handful exceed 1,000 incomes. India, for example, exceeds 2 thousand numbers entered and in Saudi Arabia the record is more than 800.
The Mexican case is cooked apart. Compared to any other of the investigated countries, their records skyrocket.
It is the nation, which by far exceeds the number of telephones entered into this universe of information. More than 15 thousand entries appear in the available data, a very high figure next to those reported in other parts of the world. A large portion of the rest of the identified numbers are in Middle Eastern countries, such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Yemen.
The use of spyware in Mexico can only be compared to that of the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, with more than 10,000 targets each. Rwanda appears in a distant third place with more than 3,500, while Bahrain accumulates almost 3,000. In the case of Europe, a thousand French numbers were reported and those of at least two media moguls in Hungary.