According to the Toronto Star, things are going well for Byron Sonne’s case. In case you don’t remember, Byron Sonne was one of the first arrestees of the G20. The information about Byron’s case is on his website, freebyron.org has all the information about his legal case. However, I think that now more than ever, Byron Sonne needs our support, and I’m going to explain why he need it now more than ever.
The Toronto Star article indicates that Byron is now being charged with, which has been updated on the wiki. The thing that should alert anyone who talks about Security, Surveillance or anything else is this count is the offence “Counselling offence that is not committed”. This is a rather thoughtcrime-esque law that exists in the Criminal Code, but it’s in the criminal code. This is in the section of the Criminal code with the title “ATTEMPTS — CONSPIRACIES — ACCESSORIES”, and this is where things get tricky.
At Hackerspaces all throughout North America, people share information all the time, and of course certain pieces of information are more controversial than others. For example, the IP address I just posted the last couple of days could get me in trouble, except for the fact that anyone who wanted the RCMP’s IP address could just use Google, or search their own logs, to get this information. This isn’t secret info, and I do not recommend that anyone do anything illegal with that information. The information was posted for educational purposes only! However, there’s other information that hackerspaces can find that is more hotly contested where the space has to make such a call. VHS has in the past made that call and decided to not openly discuss certain pieces of information due to the legal climate at the time. It’s a call that every hackerspace has to make for themselves.
Therefore, based on my over 1000 km away view of the situation, I believe that Byron Sonne was providing information for educational purposes only, and was not actually providing information to be used to commit any criminal act in this country. Since I only have publicly known facts about the case, I believe that if Byron ends up being found guilty of mischief, we are going to go down a very slippery slope, since it will be near impossible to tell what information people can share and what information can’t be shared due to the fact that we could unintentionally be “Counselling an offence that was not committed”. This will have a chilling effect on many people in infosec and drive people with interesting knowledge and ideas further underground.
Once the case has been settled, we will know the truth about what happened. However, in the meantime, I highly recommend going to freebyron.org, reading about the case, and helping him out.
I promise I will get back to blogging about the RCMP, and why they suck, but I think that it’s important to mention that there’s still someone in jail after 8 months who hasn’t been convicted of anything. Prisons are bullshit, and I think that he’s going to need a lot of support now, and in the next few months when this gets resolved to get his life back together, so if you can help, please do.