| MEXICO CITY, June 19
MEXICO CITY, June 19 Activists, human-rights
lawyers and journalists in Mexico filed a criminal complaint on
Monday following a report that their smartphones had been
infected with spying software sold to the government to fight
criminals and terrorists.
The complaint to the attorney general's office by nine
people followed a report by the New York Times that some of them
had been spied on with software known as Pegasus, which Israeli
company NSO Group sold to Mexico's government.
Citing a report by a research group that investigated the
alleged spying, the complaint says the attorney general's office
and the defense ministry were among government organizations
that purchased the software.
Those claiming to be targeted by the software included
Carmen Aristegui, a journalist who in 2014 helped reveal that
President Enrique Pena Nieto's wife had acquired a house from a
major government contractor, as well as Carlos Loret de Mola, a
journalist at leading television network Televisa.
Others included in the complaint were anti-corruption
activists and lawyers representing the families of 43 trainee
teachers whose disappearance and apparent massacre in 2014
created a huge public relations headache for Pena Nieto.
A spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to
A Reuters report in 2015 showed government surveillance
requests were gathering speed in Mexico, raising concerns about
a lack of oversight in a country plagued by corruption and
collusion between security forces and criminal gangs.
Mexico's government purchased about $80 million worth of
spyware from NSO Group on condition it would only be used to
investigate criminals and terrorists, the Times said.
(Reporting by Sharay Angulo; writing by Noel Randewich; editing
by Jonathan Oatis)