October 20, 2013 7:36 pm -

The National Security Agency hacked the email account of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon because he was considered a “lucrative source” of information.

The e-mail domain, which was also used by other members of Mexico’s cabinet, contained “diplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue to provide insight into Mexico’s political system and internal stability,” according to a 2010 report provided to the German newspaper by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The hack of former president Felipe Calderon’s e-mail was conducted by an agency department called Tailored Access Operations and proved to be “a lucrative source” of information, the newspaper said the documents revealed.

During two weeks during the summer of 2012, the foreign surveillance agency reviewed the cell phone communications of then-presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and “nine of his close associates,” according to a internal agency presentation reviewed by the newspaper. Software was used to identify the candidate’s most relevant contacts, which were also singled out for surveillance.

In all, the agency intercepted 85,489 text messages, some of which were sent by Peña Nieto, who is Mexico’s current president. The process “might find a needle in a haystack,” the analysts noted, adding that it could be done “in a repeatable and efficient way.”