20 October 2013
Fresh NSA Leak on Mexico President Spying
Der Spiegel, 20 October 2013
Fresh Leak on US Spying: NSA Accessed Mexican President's Email
By Jens Glüsing, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark
The NSA has been systematically eavesdropping on the Mexican government for
years. It hacked into the president's public email account and gained deep
insight into policymaking and the political system. The news is likely to
hurt ties between the US and Mexico.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has a division for particularly difficult
missions. Called "Tailored Access Operations" (TAO), this department devises
special methods for special targets.
That category includes surveillance of neighboring Mexico, and in May 2010,
the division reported its mission accomplished. A report classified as "top
secret" said: "TAO successfully exploited a key mail server in the Mexican
Presidencia domain within the Mexican Presidential network to gain first-ever
access to President Felipe Calderon's public email account."
According to the NSA, this email domain was also used by cabinet members,
and contained "diplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue
to provide insight into Mexico's political system and internal stability."
The president's office, the NSA reported, was now "a lucrative source."
This operation, dubbed "Flatliquid," is described in a document leaked by
whistleblower Edward Snowden, which SPIEGEL has now had the opportunity to
analyze. The case is likely to cause further strain on relations between
Mexico and the United States, which have been tense since Brazilian television
network TV Globo revealed in September that the NSA monitored then-presidential
candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and others around him in the summer of
2012. Peña Nieto, now Mexico's president, summoned the US ambassador
in the wake of that news, but confined his reaction to demanding an investigation
into the matter.
Now, though, the revelation that the NSA has systematically infiltrated an
entire computer network is likely to trigger deeper controversy, especially
since the NSA's snooping took place during the term of Peña Nieto's
predecessor Felipe Calderón, a leader who worked more closely with
Washington than any other Mexican president before him.
Cryptome: This spying was apparently done from the NSA's Medina Regional
SIGINT Operations Center (MRSOC), Lackland Air Force Base Annex, San Antonio,
TX (formerly Medina Regional SIGINT Operations Center):