The insecurity expert who was arrested for allegedly plotting to bomb the 2010 summit of world leaders in downtown Toronto has walked free from court after two years behind bars.
Byron Sonne, the so-called “G20 geek”, lost his marriage when his wife Kristen Peterson ended the couple’s eight-year marriage while Sonne was in jail.
Sonne is a hacker who was a big name in the cyber security industry. He was arrested on June 22, 2010, as the first high-profile detention of the chaotic G20 weekend.
According to the Star, he was charged with mischief, weapons possession and intimidating justice officials. But by the time the case reached trial, most of the charges were dropped.
It turned out that the weapon was a potato cannon and the other charges were chucked out.
Sonne was left with four counts of possessing explosive materials and one count of “counseling the commission of mischief.”
According to the prosecution, Sonne had all the necessary ingredients to build a homemade bomb and was encouraging people, through social media, to disrupt the G20.
He had not assembled any explosive devices and police found neither bomb-making plans nor a detonator.
Sonne admitted to having materials that could be made into an explosive, but said he hadn’t combined them and hadn’t intended to.
Justice Nancy Spies said that the Crown could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Sonne was guilty of any offence.
Out of all those arrested during the G20, Sonne was the least likely to be a terrorist.
The potentially explosive chemicals he possessed had household uses and others were part of his model rocketry hobby.
Sonne said he had published photos of the $9.4 million security fence, surveillance cameras and pictures of police officers.
Some of his headlines would not have endeared him to the police. They included disparaging headlines such as “bacon on wheels” and “stationary bacon”.
But that is not a reason to arrest someone for being a terrorist – and opposing bail for two years.
Sonne said that his job was testing the vulnerabilities in online security systems and he could see flaws in the G20’s security.
Other evidence suggested that Sonne was intentionally provoking police to test the limits of civil liberties.