As reported by Reuters, the Mexican attorney general’s office said on Sunday it is investigating the purchase of Pegasus computer spyware by the previous administration and whether it was carried out legally.
In a statement, the office referred to existing probes of two people, including a prominent ex-official, into the use of Pegasus spyware, days after the current government denied it had spied on journalists or critics. In the statement, Mexican prosecutors said they were looking at the acquisition of Pegasus by the prior attorney general’s office for 457 million pesos ($23 million).
Pegasus is one of the most sophisticated pieces of spyware and can have devastatingly powerful effects on devices, however, it is not always only used in illicit activity. It is used by law enforcement officials around the world to surveil criminals in real time by being able to spy through the camera, microphone and see messages but due to its intrusion, it is a hugely grey area when used to target people and can often come with a potential backlash. Government organisations must ensure they are using the software legally and make sure all checks are in place to keep it being used on the right side of the law. If mistakes are made when deploying it, any evidence captured with the malware would be inadmissible in court.