Dutch IT firm debunks MİT report on ByLock that put 75K Turks behind bars

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Dutch cyber security firm Fox-IT, known for providing cyber security solutions to governments, said on Wednesday that it had debunked a report by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) on the ByLock smartphone application, which Turkish authorities believe is widely used by followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, as it discovered inconsistencies and manipulations.

In a statement on its website, Fox-IT said the quality of the MİT report on ByLock is very low, especially when weighed against the legal consequences of the report, which is the basis of detention for 75,000 Turkish citizens, mainly sympathizers of the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of being behind a failed coup last year.

Releasing a report on Wednesday analyzing the MİT investigation and report on ByLock titled “Expert Witness Report on ByLock Investigation,” Fox-IT said the MİT investigation is fundamentally flawed due to its contradictory and baseless findings, lack of objectivity and lack of transparency.

The investigation conducted by Fox-IT contradicts the key findings of MİT and also discovered inconsistencies in the MİT report that indicated manipulation of results and/or screenshots by MİT.

Underlining that MİT’s findings that ByLock is used by Gülen movement followers are not sound, Fox-IT said the MIT report does not adhere to forensic principles and should therefore not be regarded as a forensic investigation.

The investigation is fundamentally flawed due to the contradicted and unfounded findings, lack of objectivity and lack of transparency. As a result, the conclusions of the investigation are questionable. Fox-IT recommends to conduct a forensic investigation of ByLock in a more thorough, objective and transparent manner,” the statement said.

On Monday the UK’s Guardian reported that a legal opinion published in London has found that tens of thousands of Turkish citizens detained or dismissed from their jobs on the basis of downloading ByLock have had their human rights violated.

According to The Guardian, a study commissioned by opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and conducted by a pair of 2 Bedford Row attorneys, argues that the arrest of 75,000 suspects primarily because they downloaded the ByLock app is arbitrary and illegal.

Tens of thousands of people, including civil servants, police officers, soldiers, businessmen and homemakers, have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

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