Mexico doesn't see full security cooperation from ICT firms

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

ICT companies did not fully collaborate with Mexican authorities when asked to provide user information regarding social media, messaging systems and email, according to think tank Social Intelligence Unit.

By the end of last year, several government entities had made 1,947 user information requests to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Microsoft. This represents an increase of 7.7% compared to 2014 and a 20% increase from 2013.

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These companies only provided information for 49% of the requests made in 1H15 and 55% of the requests made in 2H15, the Social Intelligence Unit reported.

As internet services gain ground in Mexico, the authorities are increasingly asking telcos and ICT companies for user information, and this situation fuels an ongoing debate over user privacy.

The Mexican telecommunications and radio broadcasting law states that concessionaires and telecom service providers must collaborate in matters related to security and law enforcement. For these purposes, telcos must assist in the geolocalization of mobile devices and provide stored data from communication between users in certain cases.

Speaking at the recent Canieti national convention, Marcos Rosales García, the federal police's coordinator of e-crime prevention, noted that the cyber police works hard on identifying parties organizing attacks on government infrastructure through social media.

The expert said the government's digital infrastructure has been subject to 170,000 attacks during the current presidential term, although these had no significant impact on the functioning of the government.