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WikiLeaks To Ship Servers To Micronation of Sealand? 350

Posted by samzenpus
from the crossing-the-line dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Julian Assange's investors are in the process of purchasing a boat to move WikiLeaks servers offshore in an attempt to evade prosecution from U.S. law enforcement, FoxNews.com has learned. Multiple sources within the hacker community with knowledge of day-to-day WikiLeaks activities say Assange's financial backers have been working behind the scenes on the logistics of moving the servers to international waters. One possible location: the Principality of Sealand, a rusty, World War II-era, former anti-aircraft platform off the coast of England in the North Sea. Based on a 1968 British court ruling that the facility is outside the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, Sealand's owner has declared the facility a sovereign state, or 'micro-nation.'"
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WikiLeaks To Ship Servers To Micronation of Sealand?

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:25PM (#38879103)

    This has never worked, would never work, and could never work. And it was a PR stunt when Pirate Bay said [theregister.co.uk] they were going to do it, it was a PR stunt when HavenCo [wikipedia.org] was founded, and I can't believe anyone thinks anyone still buys it. Hell, even the batshit-crazy Sealand founder [wikipedia.org] and his family long ago abandoned their "country" and HavenCo collapsed in 2008. It's also been pretty much abandoned since a fire in 2006 (amusingly forcing the few "independent" countrymen left to cry for a rescue from the British Air Force). The facility has a single generator left and living facilities for one person. There is no way to get fresh water on its own. And there are DAMN SURE no internet trunk lines there.

  • It's not a nation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:35PM (#38879235)

    Sorry, but them claiming it doesn't make it so. You can claim anything you like, doesn't make it the case. The two ways you can become a sovereign nation is by force and diplomacy.

    The first is the most obvious: You simply have a large enough, powerful enough military that nobody can tell you that you aren't sovereign. They are unwilling to spend the money, material, and men to take you down so that is that. You are sovereign on account of nobody being able to say otherwise. This is how the USA gained sovereignty, as an example. They said "We are independent," England said "Nuh uh." A war was fought, the US won, that pretty much settled it.

    The second is diplomacy. You get the big, powerful, nations to recognize you as a nation, as well as international bodies like the UN. They all say "Yep, you are a sovereign nation and have the right to your own government and laws," and you do. Since they agree and won't try to attack you, and also usually will keep others from doing so, you are sovereign. The big boys have agreed to leave you be, so there you go.

    Sealand has neither, and in fact the UK claims it belongs to them. They can go on all they want and the UK doesn't really care but push comes to shove and the UK has a reason, they can clamp down on them. One platoon of Royal Marines would do the trick.

    So this would solve fuck all for Wikileaks.

  • by snowgirl (978879) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:36PM (#38879249) Journal

    A nation by definition must have territory. No interpretation of International Law I've ever seen allows a steel man-made structure to be considered territory. Thus Sealand, whatever it may be, is not a nation, and thus while it may not be within Britain's sovereignty, if the Royal Navy decided tomorrow to blockade it or sink it, there is no lawful means by which the owner could hope to prevent it, save by appealing to a British court, which means the owner recognizes the sovereignty of Britain.

    And Monte Carlo has no judges of its own, and all of its judges are supplied by the French... stick to the "it has no territory" argument, it holds far better water than any other "it has no XY"...

  • On the other hand... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ForgedArtificer (1777038) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:39PM (#38879273) Homepage

    If they were to move some FAKE servers out into the middle of the ocean and just wait to see what happened, the results might be very interesting.

    I'd imagine they could prove a very good point about the lengths governments will go to in order to censor information - or at least take some attention off of the actual servers.

  • by snowgirl (978879) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:52PM (#38879413) Journal

    which government would they worry about upsetting if they did so?

    The UK government. Sealand did not fall within the territorial waters of the UK before, but now it does. As such, if Sealand were not recognized as a sovereign nation, then it would be UK territory.

    I highly doubt that the British would take kindly to us singing a large-ish structure in their territorial waters.

  • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:35PM (#38879925)

    The legislative conditions that created that stemmed from a time when the UK's territorial waters only extended 3 miles beyond the coast. This is no longer the case, so while it was not within their jurisdiction at the time it would be today.

  • by Ichijo (607641) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:47PM (#38880061) Homepage Journal

    Can you show me any decision in domestic courts or international tribunals that recognizes man-made structures as extensions of territory?

    Embassies.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @03:17PM (#38880377)

    Even possession of territory is insufficient. Then there's the Republic of China (Taiwan), which has territory, plus citizens, police, military, an economy -- yet is not legally recognized as a nation (except by the Vatican and some small 3rd world countries).

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