The Byron Sonne Interrogation - Thoughts
Byron Sonne is the G20 geek. He’s the average non-political geek that you would expect at any hackerspace such as VHS, Protospace or in this case, hacklab.to. He is NOT a seasoned activist, and he definitely hasn’t talked to many with radical beliefs before he was arrested, based on what he says in this video. This interview shows the following things:
Why it's important to not talk to the police</li>
Why Byron Sonne's case is critically important</li>
Why "I have nothing to hide" is not an appropriate defence for anything</li>
VIDEO Deep Web</a>, which is an OSINT tool. This is new information that we haven't seen before, but thanks to the Wall St. Journal's Surveillance Catalog</a>, we have information on Bright Planet and The Deep Web. That's something that I'm going to have to ATIP to see when the RCMP gave money to Bright Planet.
So, this keeps going and the detective first talks about what Byron Sonne downloaded, and most of it is standard fare. Then around 15:53, Detective Bui mentions the file "Setting Fires with Electrical Timers" by the Earth Liberation Front. The significance of this is the fact that the ELF targeted by Operation Backfire, which was organized by the FBI. This is known in radical circles as the Green Scare, and the mention of this document is basically a giant red flag to Law Enforcement, because they regard the ELF as a terrorist group. However, just because a terrorist group wrote a document doesn't mean that document is illegal to have, despite what the CBSA may say about that.
What we see here is that Kristen and Byron are played against each other, and given the fact that Byron's marriage is over, we see that this is an extremely effective tactic. He talks more and more the more Bui presses on his wife, the more Byron talks. The more Byron talks, the deeper the hole he goes in.
Around 34:45, the officer refers to this document. This document</a> is an old zine about Security Culture, and how to not get arrested. Then Bui says that he was going to incite and encourage activist activities. The fact is that enticing people to not say stupid shit isn't illegal. I highly recommend people read this booklet. In fact, here's my favourite part of the book. It's buried down on Page 21:
If others are dependent on you for support, you aren't willing to lose your job, or drop out of school or ruin your future career, DON'T DO THE ACTION. If you are addicted to an illicit drug and/or have a lengthy criminal record, the cops will use this to pressure you for information. If you don’t feel capable of detoxing under interrogation and brutality, or doing a hell of a lot more time than your comrades, DON’T DO THE ACTION.</em>
This doesn't just go for covert direct action, but for mainstream protest. I have a child that depends on me for support, therefore I can't even stick around at most protests because of the fact that I may confront the police, which puts myself at risk of arrest. If the police make pamphlets that state how to not get arrested illegal, then what?
Also, the supporters of Byron Sonne have posted the notes from the court case on GitHub</a>. What's interesting, and disturbing is the fact that a legal defence document was submitted as part of the evidence</a> against Byron.
In case you want to see the notes that corresponds to this released video, check out Day 10</a>. This actually looks like things may work out in favour of Byron due to this detective overplaying his hand, however if Byron stayed silent the whole time, the defence wouldn't have to go through the effort to discredit this officer's interview. Now, things may work out after all for Byron Sonne, but it's going to be tougher for his lawyer, especially after watching these videos.
So, if you're in the same situation as Byron Sonne, make your laywer's life easy and say nothing. If the police are trying to play one person off another, don't let them. I honestly hope that Byron gets out, and that the G20 police are exposed even more, but at this point I don't have as good of a feeling about this as I did earlier. Don't underestimate the police when you're facing them, and focus all your energy on keeping your mouth shut.