Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hacktivist Byron Sonne Free At Long Last!

I'm not going to repeat the comments that everyone is making about the injustice that Byron Sonne was subjected to. So let's just say that the Judge at his trial ruled that he was innocent.

Here are links to some articles with excerpts from  one that provide details of the history of this case and good commentary and analysis of what occurred.

Congratulations, Byron!

The Verdict Is In ~ Byron Sonne is free by Laurel Russwurm
"Now that there isn’t a publication ban . . .

It’s safe to talk about things I learned at Byron’s preliminary hearing.

CSIS has what they call the “Open Source” program, which doesn’t mean software which allows users to access the source code (the usual meaning) but rather this is a program to spy on Canadians online.  The officer testifying about this program stressed that they only spy on citizens in the “public” parts of the internet, so while they may be reading your Facebook status, he claimed they don’t delve into our “private messages” without a warrant, although he gave the impression that they could if they wanted to.

Still, I find this warrantless invasion of the privacy of private citizens in a democracy more than a little bit creepy.  When they pass C-30 they will be legally allowed to take the next step into our private communications, also without a warrant.

Something else bothered me even more, something said by one of the law enforcement witnesses.  I’m not sure if he was from CSIS or had just worked with them to find information about Byron,  but he testified that CSIS had been unable to crack the TrueCrypt encryption on one of Byron’s computers.  Because of this, he testified, Byron would always be a person of interest to CSIS — even if Byron was acquitted.

I couldn’t write anything about that then, because of the publication ban, but that attitude makes a mockery of our  justice system.   After facing everything that law enforcement could throw at him, Byron has been cleared.  The Crown spent nearly two years trying to prove Byron guilty, spending untold tax dollars trying to transform speculation into evidence, and failed.

I am happy that Byron is now free to rebuild his life.  It was great to hear that his CISSP certification was restored in record time.  And I’m happy that this is the last time I need to write about Byron, so that I can spend more time writing about fictional characters.   I expect I won’t need to write about Byron again until it’s time to plug the book about this mess he plans to co-author with Denise Balkissoon."
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"It was the only reasonable legal outcome, but the idea that CSIS or the police might continue to harass Byron Sonne is of serious concern.   Byron Sonne is no longer only presumed innocent, he is now legally innocent.  And innocent Canadians should not have to worry that Big Brother is looking over their shoulder.

MacLeans “Byron Sonne cleared of all charges” by Jesse Brown
Open File: “Byron Sonne, found not guilty on all charges, has plans for the future” by Denise Balkissoon
Chris Olah’s Trial Notes: Byron’s Trial, Verdict
Toronto Star: Byron Sonne not guilty on G20 explosives charges
The Grid: Judgement day for Byron Sonne ~ Nearly two years after he was first arrested on G20-related explosives charges, the Forest Hill resident was freed today following a tense, two-hour hearing.
Security Memetics: Parody song (to the tune of “Sesame Street) “In celebration of #freebyron”"

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