Reflections on the acquittal of Byron Sonne

Yesterday, Byron Sonne was acquitted of all charges against him. Sonne is the Toronto-area security researcher who pointedly demonstrated the inadequacy and incoherence of the heavy-handed, $1.2B security arrangements for the G20 summit in 2010. Denise Balkissoon has done some of the best reporting on the bizarre trial that followed (after Sonne spent nearly a year in jail), and now she's got good commentary on the acquittal:

“Byron Sonne, you’re a free man,” said one of his lawyers, Joe DiLuca, as Sonne stood outside the courthouse.

“I can be a moron again on the internet,” Sonne said, as he ripped up court documents that listed the bail conditions—including a curfew and not using a cellphone—that he has lived with since May 2011...

Later on the day of the verdict, in Kensington Market, Sonne stood having a cigarette and discussing Anonymous and Gandhi with Alex Hundert, who pled guilty to counselling to commit mischief during the G20. “They took a somewhat radical person like me and said, ‘Let’s put the guy in jail with real radicals,'” said Sonne, who was not involved with organized activists in advance of the summit. “I’m not interested in playing by the rules anymore.”

Sonne said he intends to help non-technologically savvy activists learn to encrypt their computers and online communications. Police were unable to unencrypt one of Sonne’s hard drives, which led the Crown to argue that it must contain nefarious plans. “There’s nothing on there that wasn’t on my other computers,” said Sonne, who said he encrypted it for travelling over the U.S. border. “But it’s good to know that the technology works.”

Sonne aims to get back the computer security certification that was suspended during his arrest, and wants to start rebuilding his professional network.

Sounds like he needs a job. Toronto-area readers, take note!

Here's our previous Sonne posts.

Byron Sonne, found not guilty on all charges, has plans for the future (Thanks, Denise!)


  1. Haha of COURSE he hangs out in Kensington market. Let me expand the following quote:

    “Sonne stood having a cigarette and discussing Anonymous and Gandhi with Alex Hundert [and also a marxist-anarchist puppeteer, a former Guatemalan capitalist television personality, two vegan assistant stage directors, a baptist reggae saxophonist who spearheaded a flower-planter creating initiative, the editors of the underground Zine “Pfffoosz”, three dubstep djs, and fourteen “new media creatives” who were there to sample the latest sandwich bar (charred octopus with arugula pesto!)]”. 

    1. lol.. or they went to Big Fat Burrito after getting baked at Hot Box. That’s another common Kensington Market pastime.

      1. Really, nothing goes better with an armload of recently-purchased vintage saris than a Big Fat Burrito. Love that place.

    2.  “marxist-anarchist puppeteer”
      Isn’t that redundant? Well, I never met any other kind, anyway.

  2. I’m disappointing he’s in a rush to get his CISSP reinstated.  His certification was revoked the moment he was accused of a crime – does he really want to be associated with that organization; does he want to pay their dues and financially support them?  

    1. Because no matter how good you actually are, sometimes the bean counters demand a sticky gold star to prove it.

  3. Will this get him back his rich coward of a wife who dumped him when he was down?
    From The Globe and Mail

    Sonne, the judge said, felt “very strongly” about his wife. “I do not believe he would have done anything to risk injury to her or worse,” [ Ontario Superior Court Justice Nancy] Spies said.

    The couple has since split up, something Mr. Sonne noted poignantly after the verdict.

    “It would be nice to walk out of the courthouse into her arms, but that’s just not going to happen.”

    Mr. Sonne has been living with his parents, who regularly attended the proceedings, as did several supporters who considered him a political prisoner.

    Will Byron sue the internet trolls like “Dr. Jones” of who called him things such as : “anarcho-terrorist”, “agitator”, “anarchist”, bail violator (just for trying to make peace with this troll), and a  man who has: “taken an oath of ethics and violated it by trying to bring destruction to critical infrastructure”. This loathsome “Dr. Jones” even tried to get Byron’s computer security certification revoked in order to destroy his livelihood. No need to paste in the pages and pages of scurrilous, malicious, libelous lies, but Byron has yet to be made whole.

    1. I refuse to cast dispersions on his former wife.  Having not been in her shoes, we are woefully unable to actually understand her motivations and reasons.  Because you think she should have, could have, might have etc a various number of things does not mean she never considered them.  She made a decision that she felt needed to be made.  Byron and her will need to work these things out in their own time.

      Prove me wrong and show me a giant tell all she posted somewhere where she comes off as an unsympathetic bitch, but to armchair quarterback her decisions in the face of what the Government was doing, saying, causing from the safety of behind a screen… not good.  I am unaware of anything like this so inform me or take a step back and consider that not everyone reacts in the moment the way you think you would react reading about it on the internet afterwards.

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