June 4, 2000
2:16 AM   Subscribe

"On Monday, a small international group of computer rebels plans to introduce what they are calling a data haven, perched precariously on a World War II military fortress six miles off England's coast." Sealand will become their refuge for rebel data. Will they remain sovereign? Will they get away with anything?
posted by mathowie (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Non-login url. Viva l'revolution!
posted by Neale at 2:27 AM on June 4, 2000

Well, Sealand gets its five-yearly bit of publicity.

I'd like to see where they get their upstream connectivity from, because with the passing of the RIP Bill here, no UK ISP will want to touch them with a shitty stick.
posted by holgate at 2:38 AM on June 4, 2000

I find it amusing that they're okay with using the service for money laundering and illegal gambling, but sending out spam is strictly prohibited.
posted by endquote at 2:47 AM on June 4, 2000

Sounds like a Neal Stephenson scenario.
posted by highindustrial at 7:10 AM on June 4, 2000

I heard on NPR last night that this group was trying to buy weapons from the Russians.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:30 AM on June 4, 2000


"They are hoping that the installation, connected to the Internet by high-speed microwave and satellite links, will become a refuge from governments increasingly trying to tame and regulate the Internet. "

Since they are using satellite, I'd say they could get their connectivity from almost anywhere...
posted by tsitzlar at 7:44 AM on June 4, 2000

I get the feeling, then, as soon as they go live, the question of Sealand's "sovereignty" will be put to the test rather thoroughly. Unlike trademarks, rights of sovereignty don't elapse just because they're not policed.
posted by holgate at 8:22 AM on June 4, 2000

Oh, a funny Guardian article for more background on this monument to English eccentricity.
posted by holgate at 8:31 AM on June 4, 2000

I have to agree with Holgate. Pirate radio is mainly used to play annoying music; this particular form of data piracy is an attempt to get around the UK's new law, and it'll be squashed as a lesson to any others who get the bright idea of hosting a server on a boat or whatever. I wonder...how small could the whole setup be made? Not being a technologically savvy guy, could you put a satellite uplink and a powerful enough server on a boat to attract clients? It'd have to be outside the twelve mile limit, I would think...an old barge might do. Hmm. My dad has an old barge...
posted by Ezrael at 9:32 AM on June 4, 2000

Oh, and here's a link from that Guardian article, for the lazy or those who don't want to read anything from the Guardian: The offical website of the Principality of Sealand. I'm starting to like these people...
posted by Ezrael at 9:37 AM on June 4, 2000

Yep, they're good for a laugh. One thought, though: no matter how good these people are at preserving the de facto autonomy of the place, would you really want to co-locate on a baseball-diamond-sized WWII relic perched in the middle of the North Sea?
posted by holgate at 10:48 AM on June 4, 2000

As opposed to a fishing trawler? Yeah. As opposed to a real island? No.
posted by Ezrael at 11:05 AM on June 4, 2000

This is weird, but wholly PatioPsychoticAnarchoMaterialistic. I like it! Has a very SubGenius like feel to it. "Every man a king! Every house a castle!" Or words to that effect.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:15 PM on June 4, 2000

Havenco.com, colocation services for the Pr. of Sealand.
So I'm looking for a free web hosting service for my pirated graphics, parodies using AP photos, and copyright infringing cybersquatting on www.KatieCouric.com. Can Havenco help me?
posted by rschram at 6:57 AM on June 5, 2000

Unlike a data haven located in, say, China or Singapore (shades of Bruce Sterling's work), nothing's going to stop the British from squashing this. Nonetheless, I think this is the first data point in a trend. What if next time it's in a real country?
posted by snarkout at 9:54 AM on June 5, 2000

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