ByLock (application)

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ByLock
Initial releaseApril 2014; 5 years ago (2014-04)
Operating systemAndroid, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry OS
Available inTurkish
TypeInstant messaging

ByLock was a smartphone application that allowed users to communicate via a private, encrypted connection. It was launched in 2014 on Google Play, Apple App Store, BlackBerry OS, and Windows Phone.[1] The app was downloaded over 600,000 times from its launch in April 2014 until March 2016, when it was permanently shut down.[2] The Turkish National Intelligence Organization (Turkish: Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı, MİT) stated that the app was downloaded mainly in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.[3]

According to the security certificate inside the software, the author of the application is David Keynes.[1] In an interview with Hürriyet Daily News, Keynes stated that the developer of ByLock was a former flatmate of his, who had used Keynes credit card to publish the app on the Apple App Store. Keynes also said that ByLock had not been available since January 2016.[4]

Gülen Movement controversy[edit]

In Turkey, possession of the app is deemed evidence of membership of the Gülen Movement, which was allegedly connected to the failed Turkish coup d'état attempt in June 2016.[5] The users of ByLock were deemed terrorists in Turkish courts.[6] According to Deutsche Welle, out of the 215,000 former ByLock users, an estimated 23,000 have been detained by Turkish authorities. Some believe that the MİT and other Turkish authorities manipulated the ByLock database in order to arrest suspected members of the Gülen Movement.[7] Tuncay Besikci, a computer forensic expert in Turkey, emphasized that "the demands to investigate and analyze ByLock data from independent institutions is refused by the Turkish courts. But it is not normal".[8]

In December 2017, Turkish authorities revealed that almost half of the people that had been prosecuted for having ByLock on their smartphones would have their legal cases reviewed, as they could have been redirected to the app without their knowledge.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Reuters (2016-08-03). "Turkey coup plotters' use of 'amateur' app helped unveil their network". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  2. ^ "Opinion on the Legality of the Actions of the Turkish State in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in 2016 and the Reliance on Use of the Bylock App as evidence of membership of a terrorist organisation - 2 Bedford Row - Criminal Barristers Chambers". 2 Bedford Row. 2017-09-04. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  3. ^ Celikkan, Ali (2017-08-13). "Nachrichten-App „ByLock" in der Türkei: Verdachtsmoment Messenger". Die Tageszeitung: taz (in German). ISSN 0931-9085. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  4. ^ "ByLock use is an evidence of Gülen network links: Owner - Turkey News". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  5. ^ "Diese App macht zum mutmaßlichen Terroristen – in den Augen der türkischen Regierung". stern.de (in German). 2018-01-03. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  6. ^ "ScienceDirect". www.sciencedirect.com. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  7. ^ "ScienceDirect". www.sciencedirect.com. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  8. ^ Sputnik. "Adli Bilişim Uzmanı Beşikçi: ByLock verileri bağımsız kurumlara inceletilmiyor, bilinmemesi gereken ByLock kullanıcıları mı var?". tr.sputniknews.com (in Turkish). Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  9. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Turkey to review over 10,000 arrested coup suspects linked to ByLock mobile app | DW | 28.12.2017". DW.COM. Retrieved 2019-02-16.