More than 215,000 people used ByLock: Indictment
ISTANBULMore than 215,000 people have been using ByLock smartphone app, an encrypted messaging application that is said to have been used by members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, according to an indictment prepared as a part of the FETÖ investigation.
An indictment was prepared for a total of 26 Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) employees, of whom 21 are currently arrested, who were detained over ByLock. The indictment, in which the prosecutor seeks up to 15 years in prison for the suspects, featured the most extensive numbers and analysis regarding ByLock usage.
Prepared by the Terror and Organized Crime Bureau of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the indictment said the number of people registered as using ByLock is 215,092. The authorities have deciphered the passwords of some 184,298 users.
The number of groups formed in the application is determined to be 31,886 and the total number of the contents of the messages is 17,169,632, of which 15,520,552 were deciphered.
Some 60,473 users have received or sent messages at least once, while 78,165 people were determined to have used the voice call service. The number of people who used the application only for voice calls is 46,799.
According to the indictment, the total number of content of emails is 3,158,388, of which 2,293,518 were deciphered.
The indictment, which said the suspects downloaded and started using ByLock in August 2014, was sent to the Istanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court. The suspects received orders from the same source and acted as a part of an illegal organization, the indictment also said.
In addition, the indictment said the users did not buy the phone lines by giving their own names, changed their phones frequently, and used programs like Skype, Tango, ByLock, Line, Karaotlak and Whatsapp for their encryption feature.
Moreover, the indictment also stated that Gülen ordered the FETÖ members to use ByLock, saying those who do not would be betraying the movement.
He also allegedly ordered the FETÖ members to delete ByLock from their phones after the July 2016 foiled coup, widely believed to have been masterminded by soldiers loyal to Gülen.