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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.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:28PM (#38879143) 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.

      • 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"...

        • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:57PM (#38879459)

          TFA states, saliently, that where the data resides does not determine jurisdiction anyway.

          The advantage of this Sealand "strategy", if there even is one, is that the servers are removed from within the borders of a country which might choose to comply with pressure from the United States to shut an ISP down.

          It does nothing to stop said government from influencing the provider of traffic to Sealand - whomever owns the dish communicating with it, for example, whomever owns the building on which it is mounted, whomever in the UK is providing the service. It does nothing to stop the ability to prosecute the people who are breaking the laws involved.

          It doesn't move them out of reach, it just adds an extra step or two to takedown.

          • It doesn't move them out of reach, it just adds an extra step or two to takedown.

            A takedown would actually seem to be far easier. The site could be treated as a vessel engaged in criminal activity on the high seas and an naval vessel could board it, search it and confiscate contraband.

            It would seem that in reality they have removed the required legal steps for a takedown.

            • by snowgirl (978879)

              It doesn't move them out of reach, it just adds an extra step or two to takedown.

              A takedown would actually seem to be far easier. The site could be treated as a vessel engaged in criminal activity on the high seas and an naval vessel could board it, search it and confiscate contraband.

              It would seem that in reality they have removed the required legal steps for a takedown.

              If you don't recognize Sealand's sovereignty then it is well within the UK's territorial waters, so it's not "a vessel engaged in criminal activity on the high seas".

              • No one that counts recognizes Sealand's sovereignty. It is within the UK's territorial waters, it belongs to the UK.

                • by snowgirl (978879) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:33PM (#38879895) Journal

                  No one that counts recognizes Sealand's sovereignty. It is within the UK's territorial waters, it belongs to the UK.

                  Cool, what court case do you have to substantiate this position? Because there are already two UK court cases that explicitly disclaim Sealand as being under UK jurisdiction...

                  I understand that no one has made any positive recognition of Sealand's sovereignty, but it has acted with de facto sovereignty for a number of years already now, and modern international law does not require anyone's recognition of your sovereignty.

                  Sealand has fallen through a weird legal crack, that the UK could easily pave over at any moment, but until that time, Sealand is best described as an unrecognized sovereign territory.

                  • 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 snowgirl (978879) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:51PM (#38880107) Journal

                      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.

                      Agreed, if Sealand were to attempt to construct its sovereignty now, it would fail, because the territory would already be under the jurisdiction of the UK.

                      However, Sealand constructed its sovereignty when it was not UK territory, and thus has rights to establish its own sovereignty.

                      One could argue that when the UK extended its territorial waters from 6 miles to 12 miles, that it annexed Sealand, and Sealand is now properly territory of the UK, however this has not been established by any legal rulings, and the UK continues to not assert any jurisdiction over the territory, while Sealand continues to operate with de facto sovereignty.

                    • by Bert64 (520050)

                      On the other hand, sealand was built and "founded" at the time territory extended only 3 miles out...
                      Now most countries claim 12 miles of sea around their land...
                      Sealand is about 7 miles out afaik, and the owners of sealand claimed 3 miles of surrounding sea at the time, which means there was 1 mile of international water between the uk and sealand. When the uk extended their claim to 12 miles, so did sealand... But i don't believe that extension can cover any territory that's already claimed by someone els

                    • by X0563511 (793323)

                      I don't think too many people would cry if Sealand was invaded and forcibly annexed.

                      Just saying.

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      I don't think too many people would cry if Sealand was invaded and forcibly annexed.

                      Just saying.

                      Oh no, I totally agree with you. Sealand would be screwed if the UK ever decided to assert its jurisdiction.

                      They exist in a sort of quasi-legal crack, that could be stamped out at any moment, and the only reason why they aren't, is because the UK views it as worthless scrap... as in, it would cost us more to do something about it, than to leave them alone.

                    • by Professr3 (670356) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @09:03PM (#38885107)
                      Not many people would cry if your house was invaded and forcibly annexed, either. Just because you're not the target doesn't mean you should support the practice.
                  • by PRMan (959735)

                    No one that counts recognizes Sealand's sovereignty. It is within the UK's territorial waters, it belongs to the UK.

                    Cool, what court case do you have to substantiate this position? Because there are already two UK court cases that explicitly disclaim Sealand as being under UK jurisdiction...

                    I understand that no one has made any positive recognition of Sealand's sovereignty, but it has acted with de facto sovereignty for a number of years already now, and modern international law does not require anyone's recognition of your sovereignty.

                    Sealand has fallen through a weird legal crack, that the UK could easily pave over at any moment, but until that time, Sealand is best described as an unrecognized sovereign territory.

                    And as such, if you thought the US beat Iraq easily in the first Iraq war, just wait until you see what they can do in this one.

              • by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @06:05PM (#38882701)

                Their sovereignty is only as strong as their ability to defend it. McHale's navy could take this place down. Heck, Gilligan and the skipper would have a good shot with the professor providing coconut bombs.

          • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:22PM (#38879753) Homepage Journal

            " It does nothing to stop the ability to prosecute the people who are breaking the laws involved."

            Personally, I don't recognize that Wikileaks is breaking any laws. I'm an American, and a veteran of the US Armed Forces. But that doesn't blind me to the fact that Corporate America has been throwing their weight around, using their bought congressmen to bully the rest of the world into submission.

            Wikileaks has violated no reasonable law.

          • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @06:15PM (#38882855) Journal

            TFA states, saliently, that where the data resides does not determine jurisdiction anyway.

            It seems to be a factor in the MegaUpload case.

        • by kiwimate (458274)

          Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco. It's not a nation.

        • 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).

      • A nation by definition must have territory.

        A nation, in practice, needs nothing more than no one with sufficient force to apply objecting to its exercise of sovereign authority.

        In theory, the key thing is the recognition of soveriegnty by other nations.

        No interpretation of International Law I've ever seen allows a steel man-made structure to be considered territory.

        Every reasonable interpretation of international law allows plenty of man-made structures (independently of their construction material) to be

        • Can you show me any decision in domestic courts or international tribunals that recognizes man-made structures as extensions of territory? We have disputes about whether even building up islands against natural erosion as legitimate territorial claims, and you think some fucking derrick well within UK territorial waters that has no recognition from anyone other than a few crackpots who printed up some faux passports somehow constitutes a legitimate claim of sovereignty? They can't even decide on the ultimat

          • 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 krlynch (158571) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:58PM (#38880183) Homepage

              Contrary to popular belief, diplomatic missions do not enjoy full extraterritorial status and are not sovereign territory of the represented state.[5][6] Rather, the premises of diplomatic missions remain under the jurisdiction of the host state while being afforded special privileges (such as immunity from most local laws) by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_mission [wikipedia.org]

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        HOWEVER...

        a long tradition of operating pirate radios has been to do it from a vessel on international waters.

        • by drnb (2434720) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:27PM (#38879827)

          HOWEVER...

          a long tradition of operating pirate radios has been to do it from a vessel on international waters.

          Such a ship has no physical contraband to seize and they are merely violating local broadcasting regulations. Possessing "stolen" diplomatic messages ups the controversy to espionage, the later being something that might give a naval vessel in international waters the authority to board and search.

          If you are beyond territorial waters and flying no flag to avoid legal responsibilities you must accept the risk that you also have far less legal protection.

      • 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.

        If SeaLand is not a territory then must be a ship (sea vessel), sinking, destroying, and or boarding said ship would be considered an act of piracy. As a ship SeaLand would have to find a nation and fly it's flag and would be protected by that nation. I'm sure certain nations would be glad to stick it to their neighbors up north and might even agree to allow a communication cable to SeaLand which would be protected by treaties. The big problem and cost would be power and supplies. I am unfamiliar with ma

      • by scubamage (727538)
        The interesting thing about law is it changes over time.
      • by sohmc (595388) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:25PM (#38879805) Journal

        Territory can be anything. You have to be able to defend your territory from other nation states, terrorists, etc.

        Put it this way: The only reason the POTUS can be president is not because the Constitution says so. It's because the force and might of the US Armed Forces that protects the Constitution gives the POTUS power. I can say I'm the President but without the military, I'm just some lunatic.

        Whether Sealand is "officially recognized" is not the point. They must be able to defend themselves from usurpers, much like the US did during the revolution. And they must be able to continually do so, less they become like some African nation that is constantly in civil unrest.

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:30PM (#38879171) Journal
      To add to your doubt, the wikipedia article for Sealand makes it sounds like a couple guys with a boat and some small arms could over take it ... so, uh, you're moving your servers to a defenseless island? Where no other nation recognizes you? Where no one will come to your aid if someone decides to just blow you out of the water? And you're planning on hosting what? Oh, sensitive information about the United States government that they consider to be a threat to national security? Yeah, good luck with that. The US will take out anybody in Pakistan (or a number of other countries) in the middle of the night if they want to, I highly doubt they'd be worried about slapping some thermite to some servers out in the middle of the ocean and calling it a day -- which government would they worry about upsetting if they did so?
      • 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 Synerg1y (2169962)

        can you really blame them for wanting to try?

        I doubt the US govt. could swallow the PR of blowing sea-land up. I hate to say it, but public empathy towards white European extreme liberals is much greater than Muslim empathy.

    • by eln (21727) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:52PM (#38879403) Homepage
      It's also not in international waters in any meaningful sense. The British have pretty much let it be so far because it's basically harmless, but if they start posting embarrassing secrets about the US government from there, you can bet the US will put pressure on the UK to re-assert its territorial rights over it.

      The only real way they could get into international waters these days would be to be mobile in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Even then, if they started putting out information the US considered truly dangerous, it would only be a matter of time before their floating fortress was "accidentally" sent to the bottom of the sea by a wayward torpedo.

      This whole idea is a fantasy, of course. The only way to be safe from the US shutting it down would be to host it in a country willing to stand up against the US to protect it. I don't think there are very many countries on that list.
      • by demachina (71715) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:06PM (#38879577)

        "I don't think there are very many countries on that list."

        Russia and China almost certainly would be on the list if Wikileaks would confine itself to only embarassing the U.S. But doing that you are trading an increasingly dictatorial police state(the U.S.) for a couple that have been there for a while. I seem to recall Putin was fairly delighted with all the state department cable leaks for exposing how duplicitous the U.S. and its allies are.

        But, I think Wikileaks is an equal opportunity embarasser of repressive states so I doubt they would partner with Russia or China.

        The real problem is you need a country that is willing to stand up to the U.S. AND isn't heading towards repressive police state itself and THOSE are sadly somewhere between vanishingly rare and non existent.

      • This whole idea is a fantasy, of course. The only way to be safe from the US shutting it down would be to host it in a country willing to stand up against the US to protect it. I don't think there are very many countries on that list.

        Not true! There's a substantial list of countries on that list. It's just that most of them have a lot less sympathy to the Wikileaks cause than even the US does. The Iranians, North Koreans, Chinese, or any of a number of other countries have sufficiently poor relations with the US that they'd love to host secret and possibly embarrassing US documents. Assuming that Assange and company are quite clear on the fact that nothing the host country does is to be subject to the least negative scrutiny or leak

      • The only way to be safe from the US shutting it down would be to host it in a country willing to stand up against the US to protect it. I don't think there are very many countries on that list.

        There are plenty. Iran, North Korea, China to name a few. Except they all take a very dim view of free unrestricted information. Wikileaks cant exist without the *relatively* unfettered access to the internet provided by the Western nations they want to expose. Ahh sweet irony.

    • FYI, Wikipedia says that The Pirate Bay was actually going to go through with it, but the deal fell through.
    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      Ya, I was fairly sure they shut down operations in 2008.

      The place was a joke to start with. From what I understood, they had negotiated some terms with some nations, for some sort of recognition, but that was about it.

      The Sealand site is still up, and flogging merchandise including your own royal title (which would probably get you executed in no less than a dozen other countries). The havenco site is gone. I'd have to assume most or all of their connectivity

  • by John.P.Jones (601028) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:29PM (#38879155)

    In this day of age of virtualization, cloud deployments and the like the idea of moving servers offshore being equivalent to physically moving boxes across the ocean seems absurd. You setup some new machines at the new location, sync the data across this thing called the Internet, flip a switch and then wipe the old boxes and sell off the hardware (if you ever owned it to begin with).

  • Jurisdiction? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by countertrolling (1585477) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:30PM (#38879165) Journal

    Anybody actually think that would stop the bombs and bullets? Please! It would only suffer the same fate as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Vietnam, Philippines, etc etc etc.

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:32PM (#38879197) Journal

    One fatal flaw. Easily declared an enemy combatant and easily bombed.

    • Don't need to bomb it. It's a tiny man-made structure in the sea. A couple of cruisers could blockade it. Without food, fuel and freshwater, Sealand would be done in a few weeks. The thing was always a fiction, all this would do is force to the British government to finally do something about it.

    • by KhabaLox (1906148)

      To be fair, that flaw exists under the current model too. Hell, it exists under *any* model.

      • by scorp1us (235526)

        Well, unless you are an American in America or abroad (which the US can now bomb at will) or a foreigner in a war zone, you cannot be bombed without there being diplomatic repercussions.

        But my point was even more subtle than that. One predator drone has enough firepower to take out the computing infrastructure. It is also easily boarded. Without UN recognition, it doesn't really exist. And it is unlikely to get any recognition before, and especially now.

  • Outside of the UK, than it's fair game for a 500# bomb. The nice thing is it is even conveniently located for a nearby F-15 to get to. Who want's to starts the SeaLand Death Watch website?

  • 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 MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:37PM (#38879257) Journal

      You don't even need a platoon. A Sea King helicopter would probably be sufficient. Hell, one torpedo from a British sub and the whole thing goes to the bottom. Sealand is tolerated because it's just some morons with comprehension problems. But if it starts committing acts that might be viewed as criminal, such as, say, violating the national security of the United Kingdom, then the whole farce will come to an end in short order.

      • Why spend money? Just withhold rescue services and patiently wait for the next big storm.
      • by snowgirl (978879)

        Sealand is tolerated because it's just some morons with comprehension problems. But if it starts committing acts that might be viewed as criminal, such as, say, violating the national security of the United Kingdom, then the whole farce will come to an end in short order.

        Or say, like firing on ships that travel too close to the structure as well... they would be hauled into British court, and charged with a crime.

        Oh, wait, that already happened? The British courts ruled that it was outside of their jurisdiction? So, the sovereignty of Sealand was established BEFORE it lay within the UK's territorial waters, and there are international laws pertaining to how territorial waters work if two nations are within 12 miles of each other.

        • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:33PM (#38879897) Homepage

          Oh, wait, that already happened? The British courts ruled that it was outside of their jurisdiction?

          It's not quite that simple. They were hauled before Crown Court when the comic opera 'nation' was outside British waters. Now, not only are they inside British waters, the finding of the Crown Court is not binding on an Admiralty Court anyhow.
           

          there are international laws pertaining to how territorial waters work if two nations are within 12 miles of each other.

          Since Sealand is not a signatory to any of those instruments, and is not recognized as a sovereign state by any signatory, and there is no binding decision, precedent, or principle to provide them with de jure or de facto recognition... My guess (though IANAL) is those laws don't apply.
           
          tl;dr version: you can't both claim to not be bound by the law *and* seeks it's protection. Not to mention that if you don't understand the difference between different types of courts and laws and their jurisdictions, you shouldn't be parroting crap you patently don't understand.

          • by snowgirl (978879)

            you can't both claim to not be bound by the law *and* seeks it's protection.

            There is no argument that they are not bound to international law. The argument is that they are outside of UK jurisdiction, and thus not subject to UK laws.

          • by tragedy (27079)

            I think you're missing the point that, if they constructed their claim to legitimacy before the territorial waters expanded, the expansion can't ex-post facto remove that legitimacy. No-one can say that they're inside UK territorial waters and therefore not sovereign, they have to go back to the founding and work forward to the present. If they were sovereign, then the expansion of the territorial waters of the UK doesn't apply to them as they have their own territorial waters that intersect with those of t

        • The British courts ruled that it was outside of their jurisdiction?

          Yes, they did in 1968, but that doesn't mean that it is sovereign. It would be covered by the same laws as a ship with no flag. When it fell inside the UK's territorial waters, it would be bound by these same laws and fall under the UK's jurisdiction until such a point as it moved into international waters.

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      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.

      Ok, apart from mixing up "ability" with "unwilling"... you know, because the US could oust just about any government from power, so all of them are no longer sovereign?

      So, taking it that the case is "No other nation is willing to spend the money, material, and men to take you down", Sealand is in fact a sovereign nation, as the UK has not attempted to assert that Sealand is within its jurisdiction since the original court ruling that it lies outside of of their jurisdiction.

      • by kiwimate (458274)

        You're confusing "we recognize your sovereignty" with "we really don't care enough to give a toss, we're busy working on actual issues". The difference being that if they start to do things which are genuinely embarrassing/awkward/dangerous, the former will get you censured in the U.N. whereas the latter will just get you a night-time invasion.

        • by snowgirl (978879)

          You're confusing "we recognize your sovereignty" with "we really don't care enough to give a toss, we're busy working on actual issues". The difference being that if they start to do things which are genuinely embarrassing/awkward/dangerous, the former will get you censured in the U.N. whereas the latter will just get you a night-time invasion.

          But modern international law holds that recognition by other countries is merely declaratory, and not constructive of the nation.

          Correct, no one recognizes it as a country, but the fact that the UK has not enforced its jurisdiction over the property, and has explicitly denied jurisdiction over the territory opens the door to Sealand declaring its sovereignty.

          Also, please note that I never said that the UK or anyone else recognizes Sealand's sovereignty, but then again, recall, modern international theory ho

          • by kiwimate (458274)

            You state yourself that as long as someone else doesn't come in and kick you out, you have sovereignty.

            No, I don't. To claim I do is inaccurate.

            that wouldn't change the fact that Sealand has operated as a sovereign territory for years.

            It wouldn't change the fact that Sealand has claimed they've been operating as a sovereign territory for years.

    • by ClintJCL (264898)
      By your definition, Costa Rica isn't a nation.
    • by Jawnn (445279)

      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.

      Or just one Chuck Norris.

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:35PM (#38879241)
    Not many, but there are some. Moving it to Mogadishu, for instance.
  • 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.

  • Hacker Community? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@nospaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:40PM (#38879285)

    Multiple sources within the hacker community

    WTF does that even mean? I understand Fox is trying to tie the negative connotations of the modern day usage of the word hacker to WikiLeaks, but who the flying fuck is this conglomerate of the hacker community such that Fox can claim them as reputable sources, much less assume that these people speak for the community as a whole, assuming that there is a uniform grouping of people that aren't just an amoeba group of a couple people who claim to be 'hackers', and thus the whole community is now tied to WikiLeaks via Fox's shitty sourcing in the first couple sentences that catch eyes.

    Ein Volk. Ein Reich. Ein Fuhrer. Ein News Channel.

  • Besides the fact that Sealand is only there because the UK government chooses to ignore it, my study of the brief history of Sealand has shown that it's simply a pretty unsavory place to do anything. It *may* work for now, but even if some government doesn't "invade", there is simple risk to the equipment from the sheer sketchiness of the endeavor.

    And let's face it, even if Sealand takes off, all they have to do is be considered to harbor terrorism and an actual invasion is certainly in the cards. It's no

  • ...is to give the US more reason to incorporate off-shore into their "territory".

  • Yeah this is way out there but . . . .

    A hosting company would be more secure. A large hosting company with onsite staff and cameras. With redundant trunks and power. For anything to happen it would have to be nice and legal. Maybe secret can't talk about it NSL but legal.

    Taking out power or net to Sealand would be trivial with a small covert group. Take control of the whole place would be trivial. It was done already by amateurs. There would be no way to tell what happened in the event of a problem.
  • by zule666 (1175419) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:53PM (#38879421)
    I think Costa Cruise lines has a good deal on a slightly used ship Wikileaks could use.
  • by debrain (29228) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:55PM (#38879439) Journal

    Wikileaks should put a server on a satellite in orbit if they want autonomy.

    • by cpghost (719344)
      It's way too expensive for WikiLeaks to do this alone. However, there's already a satellite in orbit, and it's called the moon. HAM operators have been bouncing RF waves off the moon [vhfdx.info] for ages now, and that was with old technology. Imagine what you could do with current tech!
      • by debrain (29228)

        Some suggest that you can put a satellite into space for $8,000 [spacehack.org]. I don't know how credible that price is.

        Bouncing RF waves off the moon seems more cost effective and reliable.

  • by synthespian (563437) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:55PM (#38879441)

    http://www.sealandgov.org/announcements/get-a-sealand-email-address [sealandgov.org]

    Let's make Sealand a financially stable nation. :-)

  • by internetcommie (945194) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:59PM (#38879489)
    ... that this story came from FAUX News???? Nothing about it makes any sense at all. Apart from that moving the servers to Sealand would be illogical and stupid, it would take more than one boat as they already are in many different locations. And investors who might consider buying a boat for the purpose must have so much money that it is likely they already own at least one boat that could do the job. In addition, of course, boat can be hired or rented. Somebody are trying to drum up hysteria about Wikileaks again; probably to cover up something that is really happening. NOT news, but normal operational practice for media.
  • And next, the Army of the MPAA.
  • Brings a whole new meaning to the name Wiki 'leaks'....

  • If the ongoing activities at Sealand ever bother a major power, they'll work with the UK to simply demolish the platform.

  • ...why not send MicroServers?
  • There is a difference. I don't think anyone is claiming the inhabitant(s) of SeaLand are made of a distinct ethnic, cultural, or religious group. It is also worth nothing that even without land, groups can have rights under international law. Take the Palestinians for example.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @02:35PM (#38879911) Homepage Journal

    I call shenanigans. The story has all the hallmarks of being manufactured.

    #1) It's from Fox News, a known organization that will lie, lie, lie, violate the law, lie some more, and then lie to cover up the law violations. Oh, and they lie.

    #2) "According to sources in the hacker community" == something I heard on Reddit. A rumor.

    #3) You don't have to physically move machines to a new host -- There's this thing called FTP I'm sure the author knows nothing about.

    #4) Wikileaks is already redundant across the globe. What would be the point of putting machines on Sealand? This is also something the author doesn't understand.

    #5) Sealand, if they were to be the sole host, like the author implies, doesn't have the bandwidth to serve Wikileaks.

  • by brit74 (831798) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @03:19PM (#38880401)
    I have a question about this. Let's say that some group was doing something that we all legitimately disagree with. Let's say that some criminal organization was involved in money laundering, stealing and selling credit card numbers, distributing viruses and controlling those viruses using servers hosted on Sealand, etc etc. What would we hope/expect that governments would do to Sealand in those cases? Would/Should governments just throw up their hands and say, "Well, they're a sovereign nation, we can't do anything about it."?

    I'm just curious because it seems like we either have to say:
    - Sealand is sovereign and can do whatever they want (regardless of any real damage they do to anyone or everyone), or
    - Sealand's sovereignty is dependent on not doing illegal/bad things and governments could (fairly or not) come down on Sealand for doing those things - and this could involve capturing people on Sealand and putting them on trial, cutting off internet access, etc.
  • by BlueCoder (223005) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @04:30PM (#38881409)

    Sealand couldn't possibly have guaranteed internet connectivity. All they will need to do is cut off internet access. Sealand will easily cave in at that point.

    It would be better if they turned their service into an "app" and distributed their data into a torrent like cloud. The app would just be a frontend to browse/search the data.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @04:37PM (#38881507) Journal

    ... and accidental bombing/drone filled with explosives crash into the "micronation".

    USA apologizes for what they say is an accident.

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