Mexico demands expansion of US e-mail spy probe

2013-10-23 12:40

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Geneva - Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade called on the US on Tuesday to widen an investigation into spying to include allegations that a US government agency hacked former President Felipe Calderon's public e-mail account.

Mexico scolded Washington on Sunday after a German magazine reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) hacked Calderon's public e-mail account while he was president.

Weekly Der Spiegel said an NSA division, known as "Tailored Access Operations", reported in May 2010 that it had gained access to then-president Calderon's e-mail account.

The magazine said the NSA succeeded in hacking a central server in the network of the Mexican presidency that was used by other members of Calderon's Cabinet, yielding a trove of information on diplomatic and economic matters.

It said details of the alleged hacking were contained in a document leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The leaks have prompted angry recriminations against Washington in Latin America, particularly Brazil.

Updates

Meade, speaking at a news conference in Geneva ahead of a UN review of Mexico's human rights record, was asked whether Mexico might curtail intelligence co-operation on issues including drug trafficking or counter terrorism.

"President [Barack] Obama, in conversations with [Mexican President Enrique] Pena Nieto... gave his word that there was going to be an investigation around this issue. He said that he had not authorised any spying on Mexico," Meade said.

"We want the investigation to be expanded to include the most recent allegations that not only citizens, but the presidency, could have been spied upon," he added, calling for a swift probe and for anyone responsible to be identified.

Meade said Pena Nieto had instructed him to summon the US ambassador to Mexico to demand updates on the US government's findings.

"Mexico is convinced that the espionage practices mentioned constitute a violation of norms, an abuse of trust built between partner countries and does not do honour to the historic friendship between our nations," he said.

"We will be waiting for the response before deciding whether any additional action is warranted."

Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said in Mexico City that Pena Nieto had ordered a probe into whether any Mexican officials at the time had compromised government communications.

"The investigation must determine if there is any evidence related to the cited [allegations], or whether there any citizens or public functionaries who intentionally or through neglect... behaved in such a way that constituted a violation of the privacy of government communications," Chong said.
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