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Academic arrested, charged with development of smart phone app

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Academic İhsan Taşkın was arrested in İstanbul on Thursday, accused of developing a smart phone application known as ByLock, which is claimed by the Turkish government to be an encrypted messaging system used by coup plotters.

Associate Professor Taşkın, who worked at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK), is accused of membership in “FETÖ,” an acronym used by the government to label the Gülen movement as terrorist.


As part of an investigation into the ByLock application conducted by prosecutor Mehmet Şenay Baygın, numerous people have been detained and arrested simply for downloading or using it on their smart phones. ByLock is just another smart phone application that was universally available to anyone.

Taşkın reportedly worked in the encryption department of TÜBİTAK and was dismissed from his position following a July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. Although the government has portrayed ByLock as proof of coup plotting, there has been no evidence of such activity among any ByLock messages. On the contrary, the putschists allegedly communicated on WhatsApp, a commonly used messaging system that is thought to be far from secure.

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