Bloggers in the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo are being terrorized by the Los Zetas drug cartel, which is trying to silence citizens who speak out against drug-related violence. In some parts of Mexico, websites and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are able to provide news about drug-related violence that is not covered in local newspapers or on TV. A recent murder suggests measures such as nicknames and pseudonyms are insufficient for protecting identities of those who dare to speak out.
What’s the Big Idea?
It is unclear what level of technological sophistication the drug cartels have brought to bear against social media users at this time, but it is clear they have access to considerable resources. The Electronic Frontier Foundation says bloggers worried about their security should post under a pseudonym, use Tor to prevent eavesdroppers seeing sites they visit and prevent websites from collecting data that might reveal their physical location, and use HTTPS to encrypt private communications.