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smstrackerdroid

smstrackerdroid   , 29

from New York

Statistics

Mexico Found to Be Illegally Tracking Its Citizens

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Reports have indicated that the Mexican government has launched a software that can track and monitor journalists, activists and even members anti-graft and other advocacy groups through their mobile phone activity. It was found that the said software was installed on the users’ mobile phones through what appeared to be a legitimate SMS message which led them to false sites. This allowed a certain malware to be installed on their mobile phones upon opening of such false sites. This malware is found to have the capacity to gather not only messaging data but also personal information through the user’s mobile phone. Such information include a detailed contact list, names, family members and recent activities. The malware attaches to other apps installed in the mobile phone and accesses confidential information saved in such apps including recent app activity making it a dangerous tool typically used for espionage and illegal tracking.

This malware is unlike recently popular SMS tracking apps or tools that can be installed online. Aside from the fact that the said malware can gather personal information other than messages and online activities, the data gathered by said malware are returned to the originator of the malware itself and not only to those to whom the said tool account is specifically linked into. It is believed that said malware allows a vast network of people who has access to the main source to infiltrate and gather information from a device infected by such malware. Legitimate SMS tracking apps are bound by certain restrictions which does not allow access to confidential information personal to a mobile phone user such as account names and passwords. These legitimate apps are limited only to tracking messaging activity and at most recent locations.

The malware is said to be produced by a certain Israeli NSO Group and copies of said malwares are then sold to governments. Researchers have concluded that the illegal tracking was indeed state-sponsored. Despite such conclusion, the same group of researchers fail to pinpoint conclusive evidence that implicate specific Mexican government agencies which are directly involved in this illegal activity.

According to the said reports the malware has allowed the Mexican government to infiltrate the network of such journalists, activists and advocacy groups which led to the targeting and abduction of these groups’ members by the Mexican authorities. Data on their activities and plans were used against these members to accuse them of crimes against the government. These series of activity monitoring and illegal tracking by the government culminated in the killings of several journalists in the country in 2017.

Due to this incident, the Mexican public were outraged. The victims themselves and their families have called for justice against the current Mexican government. This malware scandal has further escalated the already tense relationship between the current Mexican government and its constituents. So far, the government has yet to respond to the allegations of espionage indicated in these published reports. The Mexican public is currently at a state of civil unrest and may continue to be so until the current government provides them with an answer to the said allegations.