Being arrested for using encryption like being arrested for locking your front door or owning a safe.

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Being arrested for using encryption like being arrested for locking your front door or owning a safe.

This piece was written by PI Policy Officer Lucy Purdon.

The repercussions from the failed military coup in Turkey on 15 July 2016 have impacted almost every part of Turkish society as President Erdoğan clamps down on perceived and actual opposition in a never ending cycle of raids, arrests and detentions.

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An article via Justice at Swiss Supreme Court Thomas Stadelmann about @BylockReality

COULD IT BE A CRIME TO USE BYLOCK?

Turkish judicial and administrative authorities have been trying to establish a perception through ByLock which is an encrypted messaging application for smart phone, and can be downloaded in google play and used to be downloaded in apple store as well. Although Bylock, which is a legal app, can be downloaded via apple store and google play, they reflects it as an illegal application in order to strengthen their thesis and their claims. From their perspective using or downloading ByLock is considered a crime which means a member of armed terrorist organization behind the attempted coup and so it was accepted and applied as the most important evidence of membership of terrorist organization.

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UN Judge Akay has been sentenced to 7,5 years imprisonment on the grounds of using this comm. app.

In Turkey, we encounter many unreasonable, illegal and ambiguous judicial acts in recent years as a part of autocratic drift[1]. These judicial practices inexplicable within fundamental legal principles have been very often after the 15 July 2016 coup attempt. One of these famous irrational judicial acts is detention of people based on allegedly using the ByLock smartphone application.

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HRC 36: Secure digital communications in Turkey are essential for human rights

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and IFEX submitted a written statement ahead of the Human Rights Council’s 36th session to express their grave concern about the growing crackdown on the use of secure digital communications, and in particular the arrest and pre-trial detention of IT consultant Ali Gharavi and non-violence and wellbeing trainer Peter Steudtner, together with eight Turkish human rights defenders.

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