Sonne's story is the sad tale of a geek who lost everything -- his marriage, his home, his livelihood -- because he couldn't figure out how to contain or express his disgust with the state's increasing encroachment on personal liberty. If the authorities wanted to make an object lesson to scare activists into quietly accepting "security" measures, the response to the Toronto G20 (including the arrest and jailing of Sonne) is absolutely fit for purpose.
At a preliminary hearing in February, most of Sonne's charges were dropped. The mischief charge is gone, as are two counts of intimidating justice system officials, one of them "by watch and beset," an extremely rare charge that refers to stalking and threatening. The weapons charge was also dismissed. (The potato guns at the Sonnes' cottage aren't illegal and, evidently, aren't going to be counted against him.)How Byron Sonne's obsession with the G20 security apparatus cost him everything
Sonne still faces the explosives charge, plus a new charge added at the end of the preliminary: counselling to commit mischief not committed. Simply put, it seems his Internet posts showed people how to disable security cameras and tear the fence down, although no one acted on that information. He had to return to jail when the hearing was over, and he anticipated being there at least another six weeks while his lawyers prepared his third bail application. His parents are burning through their retirement fund to pay for the legal costs. Sonne carries a lot of guilt about the stress his arrest is putting on his family and friends (some of whom have been cautioned by their employers not to associate with him). His certification as a security system professional was suspended pending an acquittal, and he suspects he'll have trouble getting security work after this, even if he is vindicated. On top of all that, it looks like his marriage is over.
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.