but G20 arrest forever changed his life
A week and a half before Byron Sonne was arrested and accused of masterminding a plot to bomb the G20 summit, he and his wife Kristen Peterson went to dinner at an Italian restaurant near their Forest Hill home.
After the meal, in a burst of spontaneous affection, Sonne whispered into his wife's ear: "The single greatest pride in my life is my relationship with you."
Days later the couple were both behind bars Sonne would spend nearly 11 months in pre trial custody; while Peterson, arrested a day after her husband, was released after three nights in jail and they have not said a word to each other since.
Together for nearly 15 years and married for eight, their partnership abruptly ended June 22, 2010, when Sonne was pulled off a Bathurst St. bus, handcuffed and thrown in the back of a policepolice cheap Kings jerseys china
car as the first high profile arrest of the chaotic Toronto G20.
Since then, Sonne and Peterson have communicated only through lawyers and divorce filings, in which Peterson blames the breakdown of the marriage entirely on Sonne's arrest.
Almost two years later, Sonne has finally been vindicated acquitted of all charges of possessing explosives and counseling mischief and is set to begin a life very different from the one he left behind when he decided to provoke the largest security operation in Canadian history.
"I cheap Kings jerseys free shipping
refuse to say my life is ruined," the irreverent and mischievous computer hacker toldtold cheap Kings jerseys
the Star in an exclusive interview during his trial. "But it's f up."
Marriage is only one aspect of Sonne's life upended by his participation in the G20. His career, his family life and his political world view have all been forever altered by his arrest and detention.
Sonne's parents have drained their retirement savings to pay legal fees. The former Internet security expert will almost certainly be blacklisted from receiving government contracts and most high level corporate work. He lost two years of his life to jail and the restrictive bail conditions that followed.
But the sudden end to his marriage is still what stings most.
"It was supposed to be 'until death do us part,'" the ever caffeinated 39 year old says, almost vibrating after his third double espresso. "We were supposed to grow old andand cheap Kings jerseys from china
grey, you know? Rickety in our rocking chairs on our porch with kids and cats running around . . . and I was just thrown out like a dirty t shirt."
But Sonne's case raises questions beyond spousal fidelity and his own lost love, such as whether citizens have the right to goad their government and just how far one can push the boundaries of civil liberties.
His original hypothesis, he says, was to prove Canada was actually a lot freer than the post 9/11 myths would have you believe that simply having a copy of Mein Kampf or buying a bunch of fertilizer was not enough to get you on a no fly list.
"That maybe you have to be brown skinned or Muslim before you start attracting attention," Sonne says. "And that was basically true until the G20."
When Sonne married Peterson in 22, he achieved in his early 30s what most people work their whole lives towards: comfortable retirement.
Peterson, a visual artist who lives primarily off a family trust fund, had an income of $259,774.27 in 2010, according to divorce court filings.
Sonne and Peterson met while both working for the company in 1995.
Shortly after marrying, the couple borrowed $1.1 million from Peterson's father to buy their Elderwood Dr. home and make renovations. The house is now valued at $1.3 million. No part of the loan has yet been paid back, according to divorce records.
By his own admission, in the years leading up to his arrest, Sonne lived "a rich boring life, where I didn't have to do anything and I could indulge in whatever I wanted."
Despite being "kind of unstimulated," Sonne enjoyed the time he spent on his wide ranging and varied hobbies, which include both harmlessly geeky pursuits and potentially dangerous experiments.
In addition to building mountain biking trails in the Don Valley, growing decorative crystals in his basement laboratory and trying to build model rockets, Sonne alsoalso wholesale cheap Kings jerseys china
had the time to conduct his own "intellectual experiment" an informal project that would utilize his training in vulnerability research and perhaps help him reignite his dormant career in information security.
The project centred on the question: What do you have to do to get on a government watch list?
"I thought it would make for some really sexy presentations," Sonne says. "You know, 'This is how I got stopped at the border.'"
Sonne did not believe police had the resources "or the competency" to monitor the purchase of household chemicals at every hardware store across the country, or keep a running tab of who was thumbing through the books on Timothy McVeigh's reading list.
So in early 29, he started compiling provocative, hard to find literature at his Pirate Bay bit torrent account. "Just to see what would happen."
Visitors to his account could download Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammad, Das Kapital, "Ragnar's Guide to Home and Recreational Use of High Explosives," among other inflammatory material.
Sonne disparaged most of what he posted (on the download page for "Mein Kampf" he writes: "In English, wonder if it's as boring in German") and sometimes includes cautionary disclaimers, such as for the Earth Liberation Front's "Setting Fires With Electrical Timers."