NSA spied on Mexican President's emails: Report

NSA spied on Mexican President's emails: Report

Summary: Even foreign governments are no match for the NSA's reach, with documents now showing that it could read the Mexican president's email.


The US has been snooping on the inbox belonging to former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, according to documents leaked to Der Spiegel.

The documents were leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden and, according to Der Spiegel, reveal that in May 2010, the National Security Agency's (NSA) Tailored Access Operations division was successful in compromising an email server within the Mexican presidential network. This would provide the NSA with access to emails from the president's own email account, as well as those of Cabinet members who also use the same server.

The NSA is alleged to boast about the achievement in the documents, noting that it now has access to "diplomatic, economic and leadership communications".

The issue of spying on Mexico reaches further back than the presidential office. Further documents obtained by Der Spiegel show that the department responsible for regulating drug trade and human trafficking, the Public Security Secretariat, had been similarly compromised in August 2009.

Documents as recent as April 2013 show that Mexico's leaders were a priority target for surveillance, as well as Brazil.

Brazil's recent announcement over the security of its email may indicate that it is aware of the US surveillance campaign against its communications, however.

The country's President Dilma Rousseff has tasked one of its departments with creating a system to ensure its email is free from espionage attempts. She previously lashed out at the US after earlier leaked documents showed that her country was being spied on.

NSA director Keith Alexander and his deputy John Inglis are soon expected to leave the US spy agency, but the NSA denies that their departures have anything to do with the recent media attention.

Topics: Security, Government, Government US, Privacy

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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  • so what?

    these guys should have volunteered that info. who do they think they are to question us?
    The Linux Geek
    • indeed

      How could someone pretend to be a president and demand security?

      There can only be one President, and one NSA to rule them all!
  • why was snowden allowed to leak

    hmmmm mmm... i've been wondering why snowden was allowed to leak...... but, perhaps it's becoming clear: the 'net, as a communication system may be too good..... thus a desire to limit use of the net to frivololity,-- adverts, gossip, ... ... certainly the snowden leak will contribute to the general dis-trust of the net.--- forcing sensitive communications to use other *less effective* means
  • snoop resistant messaging

    no need to go create a system,-- just follow this simple guide,.....
    First: switch to LINUX. Do not use a commercial os as a base: these are closed systems that are not subject to public scrutiny as open source systems are .
    Second: Thunderbird comes standard with Linux,-- at least on Ubuntu and MINT -- switch e/mail to that. do not use a free public service such as gmail, hotmail, yahoomail, etc. purchase e/mail from an independent supplier . read their privacy statement.
    Third: install GnuPG. it comes standard on Linux, at least in Ubuntu, MINT. again this is open source; subject to public scritiny -- as are the encyption algorithms used,...... AES, 3DES, TWOFISH, et al
    Four: generate your keypair. be sure to set no more than 1 year expiration date on your key. upload your public key to the default keyserver.
    FIVE: Find a partner to learn with
    SIX: make a practice of exchanging PGP messages with you learning partnet.
    Seven: Learn to understand the key trust model. You have to use you key to sign those keys you trust; other keys will remain in an untrusted condition.

    remember: PGP is MUCH more tan encryption: it provides AUTHENTICATION and INTEGRITY.

    Authentication allows you to be sure that a message received is indeed from the party which claim to have sent it, i.e. signed it.

    Integrity allows you to verify that the message you have received has not been altered in transit by some other party such as a "man in the middle" attack .

    most mesages don't need encryption. but all messages need authentication and integrity checking.

    this is not "Pie in the Sky" : everything i have described is here now. it all works. and for free.
    • very true

      i totally agree