This morning, I was tipped off on some stupid comments by a police officer. Once again, Christoper Olah wrote notes from the trial and committed them in GitHub</a>. The first thing I noticed was a name I recognized from one of the documents that I read. Unfortunately, I don’t quite remember which document, but it appears that this is a member of RCMP INSET.
INSET is the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team. Each province has one of these teams, and the teams consist of the RCMP, CSIS, CBSA and the CF including CSEC. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the makeup is simiar to the V2010ISU and the G8/G20ISU, and this officer participated in the G20ISU. At any rate, the testamony of Detective Ouellett of the TPS is a member of INSET and the G8/G20ISU.
At any rate, the first thing that we see here is that RCMP seized all of Byron Sonne’s data, and that they went through the entire hard drive. Apparently they were slowed down by Truecrypt, and after all this time with the drive, the RCMP still hasn’t been able to decrypt the file. What’s interesting is also what they were looking for, which was related to the conspiracy charges of the other G20 organizers. This immediately shows why solidarity is important, since even though Byron Sonne wasn’t associated with the G20 organizers, the Anti-Terrorism police were clearly looking for links.
Also, what’s spooky about Byron Sonne’s contents is that I have some of the similar content. In fact, anyone who has read leaked material from Wikileaks has that same content. Therefore, if INSET were to seize my computer, I’d also be in big trouble, except for the fact that I use full disk encryption. I also recommend that everyone else use Full Disk encryption to slow down the police, since it appears that citizen journalism or just plain curiosity could make one person a terrorist in the eyes of INSET.
The next thing that sticks out is the fact that this detective views BitTorrent as primarily used by “circumvent copyright”, while the defence attorney says that it’s also for the lawful distribution of software. Assassination Politics</a> is mentioned, which is rather weird. At the end of the defence’s cross-examination, it appears that the detective thought that Byron was part of a conspiracy to set off a bomb on the G20 fenceline.
At any rate, the questioning further revolves around any links to the Toronto Community Mobilization Network, and Anarchism. Since Byron had nothing to do with either group, as admitted by the detective, most of this is a red herring and is based on “Open Source”. There are more details about how EnCase</a> was used by the G20ISU to get data off the MacBook.
The spooky thing is next, when they profile Byron Sonne and all of his associates. Also, mention of hacklab.to was found. Despite the fact that the RCMP explicitly said that there were no documents about hackerspaces being investigated by the V2010ISU and the G8/G20ISU, that’s clearly bullshit based on this new testimony.
Finally, this RCMP officer seems to believe that The Pirate Bay is down. It is not</a>.
This is what I got out of the testimony after reading through these notes. The lesson that should be learned is that Full Disk Encryption is a good idea, and using Truecrypt as well is not a bad plan either. This should be common knowledge, but it’s not. Based on Byron Sonne’s case, it’s clear that the “I have nothing to hide” defence is not worth anything, and we all have to think defensively. For example, what data would the police get if they were to bust down the doors to our homes? While I try my best at encrypting everything important, I have to admit that there are certain things that make me feel uneasy after reading through this.
Once again, it’s important that we take data privacy seriously, and consider the state a threat to that privacy. While Open Source surveillance is circumstantial and may have flaws, seizing equipment is a different story, and while people may be only guilty of curiosity, it seems that the crime of having the perfectly legal files you downloaded can cause you to get in trouble, even if it’s 100% legal to have these files.
So much for free speech and free communication of ideas.