Mexico orders probe into US spying on its top officials
Iran Press TV
Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:12PM GMT
Mexican interior minister has ordered a major probe into reports of US electronic spying on its current President Enrique Pena Nieto as well as his predecessor Felipe Calderon.
Miguel Angel Osorio Chong announced on Tuesday that he had instructed Mexico's CISEN intelligence agency and federal police to conduct an 'exhaustive' investigation into the spying operation and to determine whether any Mexican operatives were involved.
The call for the high-level probe followed an official order by President Pena Nieto to conduct a major investigation on whether the US National Security Agency (NSA) hacked his emails while he was campaigning for presidential office in 2012.
The NSA targeted his phone and the phones of nine of his close associates to build a map of their regular contacts. From then it closely monitored those individuals' phones as well, intercepting 85,489 text messages, including those sent by Nieto, press reports say.
President Nieto further added that Calderon, widely known for his cooperation with American officials, was also targeted by US eavesdropping efforts while in office.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, has further slammed the fresh evidence of US spying measures on the country's officials.
'The Mexican government strongly condemns the spying practice over communication tools and internet activity of the country's state agencies and its citizens,' the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It added that such cases were completely unacceptable, unlawful and contrary to international legislation.
Earlier, Mexican press published facts that the NSA was using special software to spy in several Latin American countries. According to the media reports, these activities were aimed at collecting confidential data in military and energy fields, as well as intelligence on fighting narcotics trade.
Moreover, a report by German news magazine Der Spiegel, mostly based on classified documents leaked by NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, indicated that US surveillance operations against the Latin American nation helped the Americans make several profitable investments in Mexican enterprises.
The report cites a "top secret" NSA internal memo as stating that access to Calderon electronic exchanges gave the US spies 'diplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue to provide insight into Mexico's political system and internal stability.'
Meanwhile, top officials in France have also demanded explanations from Washington on Monday following a recent report that its infamous NSA spy agency secretly recorded millions of phone calls made in the country.
The development comes as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also reacted strongly on Monday to a report that US electronic spying operations monitored millions of calls made by French citizens.
'I have immediately summoned the US ambassador,' Fabius told reporters on Monday as he arrived for an EU foreign ministers summit, adding a meeting would take place 'this morning' at the ministry in Paris.
'This type of practice between partners, which violates privacy, is totally unacceptable and we must ensure very quick that it is not still continuing,' Fabius added.
The American spy agency taped 70.3 million phone calls in France over a 30-day period between December 10 and January 8, 2013, Le Monde reported in its online version.
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