Report: NSA Hacked Into Mexican President’s Email

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 20 2013 12:41 PM

Report: NSA Hacked Into Mexican President’s Email

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with Felipe Calderón in May 19, 2010, the same month the NSA first gained access to the then-Mexican president's e-mail

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

More diplomatic trouble likely lies ahead for the White House following the latest revelations to come out of the Edward Snowden leaks. Germany’s Der Spiegel, which has been breaking lots of news related to the documents that were leaked by the former National Security Agency contractor, reports that the United States has been “systematically eavesdropping on the Mexican government for years.” The NSA wasn’t shy about celebrating when it got “first-ever access to President Felipe Calderon’s public email account” in 2010, according to the documents. It had already been revealed that the NSA spied on Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto when he was a candidate. But the latest revelations make it clear the NSA wasn't shy about eavesdropping into Calderón, a president who was a staunch Washington ally.

The spying on the Mexican government appears to have been broad, and not just limited to the president. In 2009, for example, the NSA gained access to emails of high-ranking officials at the Mexican agency charged with combating the drug trade. And the NSA mined it for all it was worth, creating 260 classified reports within a year from that operation alone.

This latest revelation is likely to cause even more outrage in Latin America, where anger at Washington has been building in recent months following news of Washington spying on countries that are far from being considered enemies of the United Sates. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff recently canceled a trip to Washington as a protest for NSA spying, saying the surveillance on state-controlled oil company Petrobras show the espionage was as much about economics as it was about security.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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