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Has HavenCo's Data Haven Shut Down?

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the where-will-i-keep-my-secrets-now dept.

Networking 287

secmartin writes "HavenCo, the self-proclaimed data haven located on the micronation Sealand, appears to be offline. Their website is down, and there have been no announcements from either HavenCo or Sealand. HavenCo has been covered here before; it was mostly known for offering hosting of content that might be illegal in other countries. Does anyone have news about what happened to them?"

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287 comments

Editing? (-1, Flamebait)

sholsinger (1131365) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872017)

Instead of worrying about them, why not worry about what happened to editing of Slashdot submissions? The spelling and grammar of this question is atrocious.

Sea Boundaries (3, Interesting)

telchine (719345) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872021)

Hosting on Sealand was always under the juristiction of the United Kingdom. The territorial waters of the UK were increased to 12NM in 1987. You can't legally host content in Sealand that isn't legal in the UK. If they were suggesting otherwise then maybe Trading Standards have raided them?

Re:Sea Boundaries (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872045)

But Sealand is 'grandfathered in'. There's a controversy surrounding it, but at the end of the day the 'sovereignty' of Sealand is not tested in court.

Re:Sea Boundaries (4, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872411)

There's a controversy surrounding it, but at the end of the day the 'sovereignty' of Sealand is not tested in court.

Sovereignty is independent of any court. That's what sovereignty means: you are not beholden to or dependent on another power. As such, the test of sovereignty is quite simple: can you fight off any attempt to deny your sovereignty ? If yes, you're sovereign; if not, you're not.

Since Sealand quite obviously has no chance in Hell in fighting off Great Britain, they're not sovereign. They might gain some manoeuvring room by skilful use of legal tactics, but the very fact of needing the help of a British court and law to keep from getting crushed like an ant also means that they're beholden to it. You can't be dependent on and independent of the same thing at the same time.

Sealand gets shut down as soon as they annoy someone enough that they'll bother.

Re:Sea Boundaries (4, Interesting)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872665)

At the end of the day, a British court ruled that Sealand was outside of British jurisdiction, which atleast means they are not beholden to the British.

Germany also to one degree or another recognized Sealand by sending a diplomat there (rather than communicating with Britain).

Re:Sea Boundaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872895)

At the end of the day, a British court ruled that Sealand was outside of British jurisdiction.

Yes, at that point (1968), Sealand was outside of UK territorial waters (3NM). Since that date, the United Kingdom territorial waters have incread to 12NM, which now encompasses Sealand.

Re:Sea Boundaries (3, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873325)

...This court ruling, an act of jurisdiction, establishes that we do not have jurisdiction over the territory for which we are passing jurisdiction. In other news, Rule #1 at sealand is: There are no rules! Rule #2 is "See rule #1", and oddly enough Rule #3 is "don't piss off the Germans"...

Re:Sea Boundaries (5, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872713)

Well, by that argument, most of the countries in the Middle East and Africa haven't got a snowflake's chance in hell of fighting off either the US, Russia or China. By that yard stick, they aren't sovereign either.

One of the reasons we aren't mired in huge amounts of empire building these days is because the major powers are largely bound by international law (which is still young and a little 'edgy'). Sealand makes interesting use of those laws in maintaining its independence (and hey, lots of places are now no longer truly independent, just look at the effects of this global credit crisis to see how far and how deep international trade runs).
Should the UK get sufficiently peeved, it will still need sufficient legal backing to annex Sealand (otherwise, it could quite happily decide that it'll expand its borders into, say, France).
There is already a lot of jostling and arguing over National boundaries, and has been for some time; it's just all handled in the courts (well, apart from the jostling in the fishermen's boats). Sealand is just using exactly the same laws.
I suspect the legal wrangling would be that Sealand was never truly a sovereign nation anyhow, making the whole of the later legal premises void. But that in itself would be an interesting courtroom wrangle.

You can of course say "What the hell" and just shut it down. But that would be against the law.. And the UK has big enough issues at the moment without getting hauled through the international courts.

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872833)

The UK reciently used anti-terrrism laws against Iceland. Do you really think they couldn't do similar to sealand and force them to leave? The only reason sealand exists is that they've not annoyed the UK government sufficiently.

Sealand's a gimmick and I seriously doubt any international court would bother with them.

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Informative)

paganizer (566360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873413)

Sealand has defended itself, by force, from invasion. It was taken over then liberated by the "prince", this is what prompted the visit from the German ambassador.
It is a sovereign nation, as defined by the UK's own laws; saying it isn't is sort of like Usenet doesn't enjoy common carrier protection.
In other words: a heck of a lot of people are saying it, and unless interested parties do something, what the people are saying will become reality regardless of precedent and law.

Replace to words and things become interesting (4, Interesting)

krischik (781389) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872739)

Interesting definition - especially if your replace to words in your sentence: Georgia quite obviously has no chance in Hell in fighting off Russia, they're not sovereign.

I know, this is off topic - but I could not resist.

And thinking about it: If your replace UK/Russia with USA then ~95% of all countries become "not sovereign". That's the ~95% which are not mayor nuclear powers.

So by your rationale: sovereign = mayor nuclear power and signing the "Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons" is signing your sovereign away.

Martin

Re:Replace to words and things become interesting (5, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873105)

That's the ~95% which are not mayor nuclear powers.

Wait, they're handing out nukes to municipal governments now? I don't know what it's like in your town, but the vast majorities of the mayors around here are factory-sealed with 98.5% pure batshit-grade insanity. I barely trust my mayor to run a furniture store, let alone an apocalypse.

Re:Replace to words and things become interesting (2, Funny)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873455)

Well the beauty of municipal level government is that there is a good chance that the mayor does run a furniture store.

Re:Replace to words and things become interesting (5, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873369)

If your replace UK/Russia with USA then ~95% of all countries become "not sovereign".

I think the list is currently broken down something like this:

Nuclear capability ~ sovereign
No Oil ~ sovereign
Pissed us off in the past ~ NOT sovereign
Can't prove that there are no terrorists around ~ Really Really Not Sovereign

Re:Sea Boundaries (3, Interesting)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872759)

"Since Sealand quite obviously has no chance in Hell in fighting off Great Britain, they're not sovereign."

I guess then a whole lot of countries are not "sovereign" because there is no chance in Hell they could fight off the United States, Great Britain, or Russia if either of those countries decided to go all out on them.

Show of force is not the only, nor even the best, way to prove your sovereignty. It just happens to be the "easiest".

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Funny)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872763)

Wonderful! Then there isn't a single sovereign nation outside of the US - not a single nation could actually stand up to the force the US can project...

.
And of course Monaco, Lichtenstein, Andorra, Malta, and the Isle of Man are but figments since they're not sovereign, either.

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Funny)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872907)

> Wonderful! Then there isn't a single sovereign nation outside of the US - not a single nation could
> actually stand up to the force the US can project...

What about Iraq?

Re:Sea Boundaries (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873047)

What about it? Seems the previous government of Iraq - that under Saddam Hussein - lasted all of 6 weeks before it was completely obliterated and their military destroyed. And then a new government was set up with US involvement.

.
Unless you count the presence of terrorist activities to indicate a failed projection of sovereignty? In that case, go talk to Spain who's had problems with the Basques for hundreds of years. Or Great Britain with the IRA. Or France with any of the Corsican resistance terror cells... And on and on.

Bottom line: if sovereignty is simply the ability to successfully resist military attacks by another, then NO COUNTRY is sovereign outside the US.

Re:Sea Boundaries (3, Interesting)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873253)

Seems the previous government of Iraq - that under Saddam Hussein - lasted all of 6 weeks before it was completely obliterated and their military destroyed. And then a new government was set up with US involvement.

Also, the US was trying to do what was necessary to topple the existing government and military in Iraq with minimal damages to the general population and non-military targets.

If the US had basically just wanted a very large hole where Iraq used to be, that would also have been quite easy to do. There is no country other than possible Russia that could stand up to this, as no other country can project so much of their military power to any location in the world like the US. China, for example, would be almost impossible to invade and conquer, but they can't really use their army for anything but defense against the US (unless they can swim better than we have seen).

5 official nuclar powers (1)

krischik (781389) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873311)

I would rather say that by this rationale the the 5 recognized nuclear powers are sovereign and the Rest isn't. Because only those 5 recognized nuclear powers have enough nuclear weapons to blast each other from the surface of the planet.

Of course the rest of the planet would be destroyed as well. But hey, attack successfully repelled.

For who is who read the "Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Non-Proliferation_Treaty [wikipedia.org] .

 

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872789)

Since Sealand quite obviously has no chance in Hell in fighting off Great Britain, they're not sovereign.

Strictly speaking the Vatican has no chance in hell of fighting off Great Britian or, say, the Italian Republic. This does not mean however that the Vatican is not a sovereign country.

Re:Sea Boundaries (1)

zarkill (1100367) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872883)

As others have mentioned, by that logic you could say NO small country is sovereign, because they would never be able to repel an invasion from a larger neighbor. But what they CAN gain by referencing court decisions by their larger neighbors is legitimacy in the international community. When you are recognized as legitimate by the international community, you don't have to be worried about your larger neighbors invading you, because you would have that international community backing you up. Even the United States couldn't fight the entire world at once.

Re:Sea Boundaries (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872921)

That may be going a bit far. You're saying any country that couldn't resist an invasion isn't sovereign? Do we need to have a deathmatch to determine which one country is the one that really is sovereign?

They might gain some manoeuvring room by skilful use of legal tactics, ...

They actually did this once, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_Sealand [wikipedia.org] Turns out Britain doesn't care. And why should they?

We were planning on taking Sealand over at some point. Inflatable boat, cooler full of beer and lots of yelling. But it turns out they probably actually have some guns. Sigh.

Re:Sea Boundaries (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873481)

Some of those pirates from Somalia could come and take it over, it would probably be a lot easier to attack than a big oil tanker.

Re:Sea Boundaries (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873263)

They are sovereign. GB lost the case against them, and reinforced that ruling when they declined to intercede as requested by Germany and Denmark during an incident on Sealand.

And during the 1990s, Sealand fired upon a GB naval ship. I don't see GB having successfully invaded either. Just because a nation can be invaded by another, does not mean that nation isn't sovereign.

Following your statement: As such, the test of sovereignty is quite simple: can you fight off any attempt to deny your sovereignty ? If yes, you're sovereign; if not, you're not., there are two or three nations, tops, in the world. US, Russia and maybe China.

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Interesting)

Graham Clark (11925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873271)

As I understand it, Sealand has no land territory and therefore won't be recognised as a country by anyone.

Legally speaking, it's probably a shipwreck - the platform's attached to a barge which was scuttled in place during the Second World War. Shipwrecks can't have their own government or territorial waters.

Their claim to independence is irrelevant.They haven't been closed down simply because they haven't done anything to provoke such drastic action.

Re:Sea Boundaries (5, Interesting)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872047)

This could go on all day - I'll get popcorn.

From the Sealand Web site...

"On 1 October, 1987, Britain extended its territorial waters from 3 to 12 nautical miles. The previous day, Prince Roy declared the extension of Sealandâ(TM)s territorial waters to be a like 12 nautical miles, so that right of way from the open sea to the Principality would not be blocked by British claimed waters. No treaty has been signed between the U. K. and Sealand to divide up the overlapping areas, but a general policy of dividing the area between the two countries down the middle can be assumed. International law does not allow the claim of new land during the extension of sea rights, so the Principalityâ(TM)s sovereignty was safely âoegrandfatheredâ in. Britain has no more right to Sealandâ(TM)s territory than Sealand has to the territory of the British coastline that falls within its claimed 12 mile arc."

Re:Sea Boundaries (5, Interesting)

secmartin (1336705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872153)

A British court even ruled that Sealand was outside its jurisdiction [seanhastings.com] in 1968; so according to international law, the "grandfathered in" approach might work. But since there are at most a dozen people on the platform, and no other country has recognized them, I bet the entire platform might just be used for target practice by several navy's if they are ever found to host terrorist websites...

Re:Sea Boundaries (4, Informative)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872219)

I don't think a government can overtake another government's land simply by claiming an extension of water rights.

The government of New Jersey tried that tactic a few years ago in order to justify the building of an oil platform on the Delaware River. The NJ government claimed they own half the river and can do whatever they wish. The government of Delaware objected, and after digging through old documents dating to the 1600s, it was determined that Delaware controls the river adjacent to its capitol. The intervening birth of the United States had not changed or altered that prior claim. Therefore New Jersey's government was blocked by the Delaware government.*

If the territory of Sealand has prior claim to its land and local coastal waters, the UK cannot simply "take over" the place by whim, and I'm sure the EU version of the Supreme Court would hold this to be true. Sealand remains an independent government by previous land/water claims.

*
* The heart of the argument is that NJ wants oil and Delaware wants to protect "their" river from environmental destruction. Two governments with two goals are moving in seemingly opposite directions. The irony is that both governments are run by the same party (Democrats), and yet they still can't get along with one another.

Re:Sea Boundaries (4, Interesting)

newrisejohn (517586) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872497)

It's a little different than that. Delaware's deed claimed all lands within a 12-mile radius from the Courthouse at New Castle, hence the round northern border of the state. The extension of the border to the NJ coast only applies to the area within the 12-mile circle.

From Delaware's website: http://www.dgs.udel.edu/publications/infoseries/info6.aspx [udel.edu]

NJ and DE both have interests in the Oil/Gas industry, in the form of tax revenue. Both are home to several refineries. Hence the need for competition.

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872507)

The irony is that both governments are run by the same party (Democrats), and yet they still can't get along with one another.

That's not too surprising. Both major parties in the US are marriages of convenience between groups with wildly different views. The same can be said of the major parties in the UK, and probably in any effectively two-party or three-party state. In fact, given the frequency of party splits in countries with proportional representation it may well be true of any political party in the world with more than 100 members.

Re:Sea Boundaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872635)

...true of any political party in the world with more than 100 members.

...true of any political party in the world with more than 1 member.

Fixed that for ya

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Informative)

viridari (1138635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872545)

I used to do a lot of boating/fishing in the Delaware river near where you speak. I find it laughable that Delaware was acting out of environmental concern. The Delaware bank of the Delaware River is the most filthy industrial wasteland for miles around. New Jersey and Pennsylvania also have some industrial development upstream, including oil refineries on the Jersey side, the Delaware stretch of the river is a real armpit.

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873153)

I used to do a lot of boating/fishing in the Delaware river near where you speak... [it] is the most filthy industrial wasteland for miles around.

sooooo... that'd be fishing for fun and not for food, then? Or am I speaking to Mercury McSevenToe?

Re:Sea Boundaries (1)

viridari (1138635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873513)

I would never eat anything that I caught there. That said, the channel catfish and striped bass action was amazing. Strictly catch and release.

That's not Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872831)

That's not irony, that's things working as intended. Each State in the US is supposed to be its own sovereign territory. So long as each State doesn't violate any of the Federal laws (which are supposed to be few and far between...) they're supposed to be able to do whatever they want.

There has been a great push however to take away the sovereignty of each State. Take for example, the Militias. They've been nationalized into a "National Guard". What happens if the US government becomes a tyranny and some of the States need to put it down or something? The States have been pretty much defanged.

So, so what if both are Democrats? One side are Citizens of Delaware, and the other are Citizens of New Jersey. They're all American, all Democrats, but they DO have slightly different allegiances.

Re:Sea Boundaries (5, Funny)

Pikiwedia.net (1392595) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872653)

That's why Sealand needs nuclear weapons, prefarrably deployed in several nuclear subs spread out around the oceans. Actually, I can hardly think of any nation with a greater need for nuclear weapons than Sealand. No army, not recognized my other states. Mutally assured destruction is their only way to truly uphold their souvereignity.

Re:Sea Boundaries (4, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872189)

By the letter of the law, Sealand has it right, I think.

However, what this fails to consider is that the force of law is rooted in exactly that -- force. Given the UK's possession of military and police forces which Sealand lacks there's not much question about what would happen if the UK decided to push its claim.

Sealand could try to appeal to the World Court, but since none of the UN membership recognizes Sealand as a sovereign nation, the court would ignore it, and there the issue would end.

Re:Sea Boundaries (3, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872235)

Last time th British tried to take Sealand by force, they lost. The ruler of Sealand saw them off with a shotgun.

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872441)

Sealand's war record is 2-0. The incident you cited, and also some Germans (not the German gov't) tried to take Sealand over, and failed. I believe there was a kidnapping involved in the latter.

Re:Sea Boundaries (1)

byornski (1022169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873439)

"In 1968, the Royal Navy entered what Bates claimed to be his territorial waters in order to service a navigational buoy near the platform. Michael Bates (son of Paddy Roy Bates) tried to scare the workmen off by firing warning shots from the former fort."

Hardly an attempt to take Sealand by force...

Re:Sea Boundaries (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872435)

However, what this fails to consider is that the force of law is rooted in exactly that -- force. Given the UK's possession of military and police forces which Sealand lacks there's n

ot much question about what would happen if the UK decided to push its claim.

Not really, but it'd be a rather poor standard as many countries couldn't defend themselves alone against the neighbours. But even the most pitiful and undefended tiny island nations usually get broad international recognition of their territory, Seeland has none, not even "moral support".

Re:Sea Boundaries (2, Informative)

Jane_Dozey (759010) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872675)

That's because it's "owned" by some nutbags who think that using loopholes in UK law gives them credibility. If the UK wants sealand they'll take it. If sealand ever got recognition as a sovereign country then I'm sure that the UK could make life impossible for them through legal channels.

Sealand continues to exist because they're not hurting anyone and there's no advantage to kicking them off their little platform. Killing the inhabitants via an armed takeover would be easy but silly.

Lack of funding, maybe? (3, Interesting)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872039)

We're in the midst of a global economic crisis, you know?? Maintaining an offshore host must be quite expensive, especially if there's no local infrastructure to maintain such service.

Re:Lack of funding, maybe? (4, Interesting)

cshotton (46965) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872191)

Anyone who followed the photo essay about the fire on Sealand a few years ago would recognize that Sealand is little more than a fantasy/hobby of a couple of nut jobs trying to scam some income out of a rusty hulk. No reliable power source, no easy transport, not potable water, no permanent residents. It is a investor funded camping expedition with the occasional porn video streamed over a slow-ass satellite connection. It is not, nor was it ever, a viable "offshore hosting facility". And after they burned up the generators and half of the platform, it's really not even habitable now. So no surprise that the royalty has likely departed to points closer to the mailboxes holding their dole checks.

Re:Lack of funding, maybe? (5, Informative)

cshotton (46965) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872199)

Pics of the fire. [bobleroi.co.uk] Not a place I'd base my business computer infrastructure...

Re:Lack of funding, maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873193)

The Brits should have sent a war ship instead of a fire boat and blown the "nation" to bits while the "royals" were not on there. The sooner this thing goes away, the sooner we can deal with real issues instead of these pointless distractions.

Yarr! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872051)

It were pirates!

The Website is Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872055)

Maybe they should try rebooting their PC three times [thewebsiteisdown.com] .

Maybe it was pirates! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872057)

No, no. Real pirates. With guns. Maybe the pirates took down the 'pirates'! ;) Seriously, didn't we see a story stating that HavenCo. was shutting down?

Re:Maybe it was pirates! (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872151)

Sealand has held off armed raiders before, even before Havenco set-up shop there.

Re:Maybe it was pirates! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872181)

Well, the U.S. military has held off armed raders before, too. That doesn't mean they don't lose some battles. :-/

Re:Maybe it was pirates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872947)

Yes, but haven't you heard? Them Pirates have upgraded their arsenal. If they can take over a brand new tanker, they might have good chances against a platform too.
They seem to be on their best way to take over from islamic extremists as public enemy no 1, at least for a time.

pirates? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872061)

yarr

Obligatory.. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872087)

Slashdotted.

Dynamic URLs vs. static URLs (-1, Offtopic)

cnnetc (1413919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872091)

[feedburner.com]

Chatting with webmasters often reveals widespread beliefs that might have been accurate in the past, but are not necessarily up-to-date any more. This was the case when we recently talked to a couple of friends about the structure of a URL. One friend was concerned about using dynamic URLs, since (as she told us) "search engines can't cope with these [blogspot.com] ." Another friend thought that dynamic URLs weren't a problem at all for search engines and that these issues were a thing of the past. One even admitted that he never understood the fuss about dynamic URLs in comparison to static URLs. For us, that was the moment we decided to read up on the topic of dynamic and static URLs. First, let's clarify what we're talking about: What is a static URL? A static URL is one that does not change, so it typically does not contain any url parameters. It can look like this: http://www.example.com/archive/january.htm [example.com] . You can search for static URLs on Google by typing filetype:htm [blogspot.com] in the search field. Updating these kinds of pages can be time consuming, especially if the amount of information grows quickly, since every single page has to be hard-coded. This is why webmasters who deal with large, frequently updated sites like online shops, forum communities, blogs or content management systems may use dynamic URLs. What is a dynamic URL? If the content of a site is stored in a database and pulled for display on pages on demand, dynamic URLs maybe used. In that case the site serves basically as a template for the content. Usually, a dynamic URL would look something like this: http://code.google.com/p/google-checkout-php-sample-code/issues/detail?id=31 [google.com] . You can spot dynamic URLs by looking for characters like: ? = &. Dynamic URLs have the disadvantage that different URLs can have the same content. So different users might link to URLs with different parameters which have the same content. That's one reason why webmasters sometimes want to rewrite their URLs to static ones. Should I try to make my dynamic URLs look static? Following are some key points you should keep in mind while dealing with dynamic URLs:

  1. It's quite hard to correctly create and maintain rewrites that change dynamic URLs to static-looking URLs.
  2. It's much safer to serve us the original dynamic URL and let us handle the problem of detecting and avoiding problematic parameters.
  3. If you want to rewrite your URL, please remove unnecessary parameters while maintaining a dynamic-looking URL.
  4. If you want to serve a static URL instead of a dynamic URL you should create a static equivalent of your content.

Which can Googlebot read better, static or dynamic URLs? We've come across many webmasters who, like our friend, believed that static or static-looking URLs were an advantage for indexing and ranking their sites. This is based on the presumption that search engines have issues with crawling and analyzing URLs that include session IDs or source trackers. However, as a matter of fact, we at Google have made some progress in both areas. While static URLs might have a slight advantage in terms of clickthrough rates because users can easily read the urls, the decision to use database-driven websites does not imply a significant disadvantage in terms of indexing and ranking. Providing search engines with dynamic URLs should be favored over hiding parameters to make them look static. Let's now look at some of the widespread beliefs concerning dynamic URLs and correct some of the assumptions which spook webmasters. :) [blogspot.com] Myth: "Dynamic URLs cannot be crawled." Fact: We can crawl dynamic URLs and interpret the different parameters. We might have problems crawling and ranking your dynamic URLs if you try to make your urls look static and in the process hide parameters which offer the Googlebot valuable information. One recommendation is to avoid reformatting a dynamic URL to make it look static . It's always advisable to use static content with static URLs as much as possible, but in cases where you decide to use dynamic content, you should give us the possibility to analyze your URL structure and not remove information by hiding parameters and making them look static. Myth: "Dynamic URLs are okay if you use fewer than three parameters." Fact: There is no limit on the number of parameters, but a good rule of thumb would be to keep your URLs short [blogspot.com] (this applies to all URLs, whether static or dynamic). You may be able to remove some parameters which aren't essential for Googlebot and offer your users a nice looking dynamic URL. If you are not able to figure out which parameters to remove, we'd advise you to serve us all the parameters in your dynamic URL and our system will figure out which ones do not matter. Hiding your parameters keeps us from analyzing your URLs properly and we won't be able to recognize the parameters as such, which could cause a loss of valuable information. Following are some questions we thought you might have at this point. [blogspot.com] Does that mean I should avoid rewriting dynamic URLs at all? That's our recommendation, unless your rewrites are limited to removing unnecessary parameters, or you are very diligent in removing all parameters that could cause problems. If you transform your dynamic URL to make it look static you should be aware that we might not be able to interpret the information correctly in all cases. If you want to serve a static equivalent of your site, you might want to consider transforming the underlying content by serving a replacement which is truly static. One example would be to generate files for all the paths and make them accessible somewhere on your site. However, if you're using URL rewriting (rather than making a copy of the content) to produce static-looking URLs from a dynamic site, you could be doing harm rather than good. Feel free to serve us your standard dynamic URL and we will automatically find the parameters which are unnecessary. Can you give me an example? If you have a dynamic URL which is in the standard format like foo?key1=value&key2=value2 we recommend that you leave the url unchanged, and Google will determine which parameters can be removed; or you could remove uncessary parameters for your users. Be careful that you only remove parameters which do not matter. Here's an example of a URL with a couple of parameters: www.example.com/article/bin/answer.foo?language=en&answer=3&sid=98971298178906&query=URL

  • language=en - indicates the language of the article
  • answer=3 - the article has the number 3
  • sid=8971298178906 - the session ID number is 8971298178906
  • query=URL - the query with which the article was found is [URL]

Not all of these parameters offer additional information. So rewriting the URL to www.example.com/article/bin/answer.foo?language=en&answer=3 probably would not cause any problems as all irrelevant parameters are removed. The following are some examples of static-looking URLs which may cause more crawling problems than serving the dynamic URL without rewriting:

  • www.example.com/article/bin/answer.foo/en/3/98971298178906/URL
  • www.example.com/article/bin/answer.foo/language=en/answer=3/ sid=98971298178906/query=URL
  • www.example.com/article/bin/answer.foo/language/en/answer/3/ sid/98971298178906/query/URL
  • www.example.com/article/bin/answer.foo/en,3,98971298178906,URL

Rewriting your dynamic URL to one of these examples could cause us to crawl the same piece of content needlessly via many different URLs with varying values for session IDs (sid) and query. These forms make it difficult for us to understand that URL and 98971298178906 have nothing to do with the actual content which is returned via this URL. However, here's an example of a rewrite where all irrelevant parameters have been removed:

  • www.example.com/article/bin/answer.foo/en/3

Although we are able to process this URL correctly, we would still discourage you from using this rewrite as it is hard to maintain and needs to be updated as soon as a new parameter is added to the original dynamic URL. Failure to do this would again result in a static looking URL which is hiding parameters. So the best solution is often to keep your dynamic URLs as they are. Or, if you remove irrelevant parameters, bear in mind to leave the URL dynamic as the above example of a rewritten URL shows:

  • www.example.com/article/bin/answer.foo?language=en&answer=3

We hope this article is helpful to you and our friends to shed some light on the various assumptions around dynamic URLs. Please feel free to join our discussion group [blogspot.com] if you have any further questions.

Well, some really rich person (2, Insightful)

Inglix the Mad (576601) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872111)

should really consider setting up a real "free speech" server zone should Sealand be offline. I don't like everything on the Internet, but 99.999999% of what I find objectionable shouldn't be illegal either. Still countries, in general, make the silliest things illegal. Child porn is one thing, and that is reprehensible, but simply criticizing the state?

Re:Well, some really rich person (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872249)

Fortunately child nudity is still legal. Parents won't get arrested for taking photos of their children skinny dipping.

At least in Amerika. I don't know about Deutschland, Australia, or other zones that seem to be cracking-down on freedom of photographic expression.

Re:Well, some really rich person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873159)

On the cracking-down bit: Germany recently made it illegal to sell or otherwise distribute pornography showing a person who looks younger than 18, even if everybody's of legal age.

International (bad) relations mean not required (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872775)

No need IMHO - you'll always be able to find someone to host what you want by simply choosing your hosting country.

Re:Well, some really rich person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872965)

Let's be honest here: Barack Obama is incapable of doing anything wrong. Anyone who criticizes him must therefore have psychological/mental problems and needs to be re-educated by the government! The fact that you don't understand or would question this makes me think you need some re-education before you go full blown crazy and start killing people!

Re:Well, some really rich person (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873009)

Still countries, in general, make the silliest things illegal. Child porn is one thing, and that is reprehensible, but simply criticizing the state?

Isn't anything that looks vaguely like CP illegal? Even if it's entirely computer generated ("No children were harmed in the making of this film.")? Seems kinda silly to me to "protect children" by banning certain uses of graphics software (especially if the GC videos are substitute goods for things that do involve harm to real children, which seems reasonably likely)...

What about opinions? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872113)

Can I store my opinions that are critical of Linux and Stallman on there?

Because Slashdot certainly doesn't like to store them. Or rather, they store them, but then mod them to -1 (it's not humans that do this, instead automatic plain-english parsers that run 5 hours after the story appears on the main page). Then they do this weird new display format, that you can't turn off, and that "conveniently" goes wrong on your browser so you can't access the -1 comments.

Well, (4, Funny)

Skiron (735617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872149)

...according to that Netcraft screen dump in the link they have changed from Linux (I also presume apache) to MS IIS server... no wonder they appear to have sunk.

Re:Well, (1)

TailGunner (461259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872315)

Ya, after all it's not like the biggest and most visited sites on the internet (like amazon.com, microsoft.com, etc.) run off of IIS. Oh, wait.

Tourism (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872163)

I all seriousness open Sealand up to Tourism! Get a charter boat going two times a week and have a mini hotel on the little nation. Maybe even host fishing charters or something to the extent. There are ways to make money even if you have no other means!

Re:Tourism (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872213)

Huh? Tourism?

Who do you imagine dreams about visiting an artificial atlantic island on their holidays? That's like a trip to a drilling platform, sans the technical sights.

Hardly an inviting place, except for its historical value as a seafort I can't imagine any reason for anyone to go there..

Re:Tourism (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872237)

look it up on wikipedia and take a peek at the picture of it. Maybe there is a way to make money off that hulk, but it isn't tourism.

Unless it is drug/sex tourism, then you would just ensure that nobody would really care when the UK took it back and sank it.

Deal between HavenCo and Sealand (5, Insightful)

jsse (254124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872215)

This presentation [securityandthe.net] outlined a brief history of the deal between HavenCo and Sealand.

HavenCo has to pay Sealand considerable amount to keep the business running there. Therefore, the recently financial crisis would hit HavenCo badly.

So, if Sealand isn't part of the UK... (5, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872231)

From http://www.bobleroi.co.uk/ScrapBook/Sealand_Fire/Sealand_Fire.html [bobleroi.co.uk] : "A security guard has been airlifted to hospital after a fire broke out on an old sea fort in the North Sea." and "More than 20 fire fighters have been drafted in to tackle a blaze at Sealand off the coast of Felixstowe." - I wonder which country's hospitals, helicopters, and firemen helped out here.

Aaah. "Thames Coastguard, Harwich RNLI lifeboat, Felixstowe Coastguard rescue teams, firefighting tug Brightwell, the RAF rescue helicopter from Wattisham and 15 Suffolk based firefighters from the National Maritime Incident Response Group (MIRG) were all called into action to tackle the blaze"

Re:So, if Sealand isn't part of the UK... (3, Insightful)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872429)

So, rendering humanitarian aid gives you jurisdiction over an area? Your title combined with your quote seems to imply that you believe that, but I know many countries who would dispute that claim.

Re:So, if Sealand isn't part of the UK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872777)

I remember a certain southeastasian country that denied foreign aid partly on those grounds not long ago.

Re:So, if Sealand isn't part of the UK... (1)

tist (1086039) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872555)

If you actually look at the article, you'll see it was from June 23, 2006.

Re:So, if Sealand isn't part of the UK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873361)

FYI he RNLI is not a UK agency, it is a charity.

It's not exactly a surprise (4, Interesting)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872241)

They talked a good game and had 'coolness factor' going for them but that was about it. I don't think they had all that many clients really. What were their advantages? They didn't offer anything over a normal provider. You couldn't host anything really inflamatory (i.e. normally illegal) there because you'd just get their link cut.

Re:It's not exactly a surprise (2, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872617)

"You couldn't host anything really inflamatory"

Maybe someone did - and that's the real cause of the fire!!

Re:It's not exactly a surprise (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873483)

They never did get more than rudimentary services going from the island, and they had several sets of falling out between the participants, which doomed it. I knew several of the Americans involved, and it was probably a failure before Ryan left, but certainly after; it wasn't a kind of business that the Royal Family really knew how to run.

The point of the place was largely that you could host material that was normally illegal or (more to the point for businesses) would have been taxable if it had been run from the UK. So gambling websites were a major target market, and tax avoidance / evasion in general, and of course music/movie/software piracy. It could have been tolerated, like the pirate radio that Sealand had run in the (?)80s, and they were working on getting a second set network feed from the Netherlands to provide regulatory diversity in addition to physical diversity.

I was a HavenCo customer (4, Interesting)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872303)

I did work for a firm in 2001-2 that used HavenCo. I recall only one significant outage, which, given the advantage, was worth it for my client. Nor did we have problems with bandwidth. Anyway, I'm sorry to hear of the fire, and hope they'll recover, although I suppose it doesn't look good.

Directory Listing Denied... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872585)

Currently Havenco.com shows
Directory Listing Denied
This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed. ....

Re:Directory Listing Denied... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873471)

Virtual Directory

Isn't that IIS? That would explain everything.

Those damned somali pirates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872761)

Expect to hear ransom demands soon..

well duh (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872959)

hosting on a rusty old gun turret in the middle of the english channel isn't exactly a formula for dependability

just find a micronation hostile to the online laws of other nations, like antigua, and host there

Sealand vs. More Conventional Islands (3, Informative)

billstewart (78916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873569)

The Havenco folks were well connected with the Cypherpunks group that hung out in Anguilla back during the 90s boom. It was outside the US, so legal to develop cryptography there when it wasn't quite legal here, and it was a tropical island with good beaches and a friendly English-speaking population. Some of the group are still there, and have been running the .ai country-code TLD from the island for some time (for a few years, the ccTLD's DNS server was located in a bedroom in Berkeley :-)

Re:well duh (1)

evilandi (2800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873655)

The English Channel would be comparatively welcoming compared to the North Sea, which is where they're actually located.

The English Channel runs along the south of England, north of France, and is home to the world's busiest shipping lane. Whereas the North Sea runs between England/Scotland and Scandinavia, and is possibly the most inhospitable non-frozen non-desert area on Earth.

On the plus side, access to drinking water is easy. Open your mouth and tilt your head skywards, you should get a mouthful of fresh rainwater in seconds, pretty much any time of the year.

Sealand on Fire (1)

Tins1618 (1073272) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873589)

Bush probably declared Sealand part of the Axis of Evil, He's gotta have at least one victory before leaving office right?

Simplest answer (1)

aero6dof (415422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873643)

I heard that it was Somalian pirates... or post-banking-collapse Icelandic Vikings. Have you ever heard of Mad Olav!

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