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The Fall of Data Haven Sealand

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the countdown-to-when-we-repeat-this-with-cloudland dept.

Censorship 210

Fluffeh writes "Ars has a great article about the history of Sealand, a data haven — a place where you can host almost anything, as long as it follows the very bare laws of Sealand Government. Quoting: 'HavenCo's failure — and make no mistake about it, HavenCo did fail — shows how hard it is to get out from under government's thumb. HavenCo built it, but no one came. For a host of reasons, ranging from its physical vulnerability to the fact that The Man doesn't care where you store your data if he can get his hands on you, Sealand was never able to offer the kind of immunity from law that digital rebels sought. And, paradoxically, by seeking to avoid government, HavenCo made itself exquisitely vulnerable (PDF) to one government in particular: Sealand's.'"

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You can't opt out of capitalist imperialism (-1, Troll)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495043)

It has to be smashed, and the only force with the power to smash it is the international proletariat. Workers of the World, Unite! For the communism of Lenin and Trotsky!

Re:You can't opt out of capitalist imperialism (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495089)

You're speaking to the wrong audience. The workers of the world are mostly in South and East Asia and South America. The West is full of bourgeoisie and labour aristocracy: the fat American on minimum wage with an iPhone is a parasite too.

Re:You can't opt out of capitalist imperialism (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495149)

yOU'RE A REACTIONARY MORON AND A DOGFART sniffer and probably an Italian sympathizer!!!!!

Re:You can't opt out of capitalist imperialism (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495357)

The workers of the world are mostly in South and East Asia and South America.

And when they find out how badly they're being treated compared to the "consuming world" boy are they gonna be pissed.

So one of two things will have to happen: Either their standards of living are raised to the point of the industrialized countries, or our standards are brought down to theirs.

I guess we know which one the corporate elite would prefer, based on what they've done to the economies of the industrialized nations.

Re:You can't opt out of capitalist imperialism (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496613)

Either their standards of living are raised to the point of the industrialized countries, or our standards are brought down to theirs. (...) I guess we know which one the corporate elite would prefer, based on what they've done to the economies of the industrialized nations.

That's a vast oversimplification, our standard of living is based on being able to hire people to work many hours for one of our hours. If you had to pay US wages to all the people that produce your goods then prices would be higher and your effective wealth lower. Redistributing wealth is easy - it happens every time you buy something from India or China. Creating more wealth is hard, businesses aren't inefficient on purpose. In the end you need to have some sustainable advantage to sustainably have higher wages than other countries and there aren't really that many on a national level, there's a few countries like Saudi-Arabia that have that much oil but for most countries it's just people. Give the rest of the world a good education and there's nothing special about an American teenager over an Indian or Chinese teenager. We've tried to sustain it anyway on debt and the results are trickling in.

Re:You can't opt out of capitalist imperialism (5, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497421)

That's a vast oversimplification, our standard of living is based on being able to hire people to work many hours for one of our hours. If you had to pay US wages to all the people that produce your goods then prices would be higher and your effective wealth lower.

This is so wrong it is almost humorous... except for the fact that many people believe it and don't understand where the wealth of 1st world countries come from.

No, the wealth of people in major industrialized countries comes from the ability to work more effectively and be able to perform tasks with less effort and to collectively be able to do things in less time or to produce more with the same amount of labor. This is usually done not through hiring slaves or paying people in 3rd world countries, but rather through designing machines or better manufacturing processes that people who live in countries with less wealth.

If you take how many farmers it takes to grow a bushel of wheat or corn in America vs. Ethiopia or Madagasgar, there is a huge difference. One farmer in America can feed nearly a thousand people out of his (or her) own labor. In Ethiopia, perhaps a dozen people. In practice this difference is even more exaggerated but the basic principle still hold true. This also applies to how cloth is manufactured, how lumber is harvested and machined down to be able to construct housing, and just about everything which can be imagined that is made by the hand of men.

Face it, if 3rd world countries simply stopped selling stuff to 1st world countries, those 1st world countries wouldn't starve or even go without luxuries. Many like the United States even historically didn't even depend much upon foreign trade and domestically has been able to produce just about everything it needed and then some. If these "wealthy countries" simply pulled in on themselves with an isolationist movement, they would still be wealthy and be able to tell these poorer countries to "get lost" or even "nuke themselves into oblivion" for all that matters.

Yes, in the short term there might be some inflation if suddenly goods and services from poorer countries stopped flowing into the wealthy countries. But they would recover and in fact the incentive to increase efficiencies in the factories that would at that point by necessity have to be domestic producers would likely improve to the point that overall wealth would even increase relative to the amount of labor that an ordinary worker would have to perform in order to maintain a given standard of goods, services, and supplies available to that individual citizen in that country. Over the long term, the wealthy would become even wealthier.

As for the poor countries, as soon as they told off the wealthy countries they would also be cut off from the wealth of those countries and be forced to make their own luxuries... which they may or may not be able to do. If anything, there would be short-term deflation and then they would spiral downward in a vicious cycle of economic collapse that would be hard to recover from.

You claim that creating more wealth is hard. Absolutely it is! It takes primarily the ability for letting people make their own decisions acted out on a massive scale so that eventually the best ideas can come forward. Bad ideas will be presented too, but those will eventually disappear in the marketplace of ideas... or simply in an open market in general that allows anybody to participate. If you are in a government or society that doesn't allow these ideas to come forth, that society will literally be poorer because of it. Individual personal liberty is the key to wealth creation. Some people simply enjoy living in poverty and I don't mind if they want to follow that as a sort of religion or philosophical principle. I just don't want to be forced at gunpoint to be one of them.

Re:You can't opt out of capitalist imperialism (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496345)

Look back in history and realize that it was ALWAYS the "bourgeoisie" that led revolutions. The myth of the worker standing up and rebelling is just that, a myth. Every at least halfway successful rebellion was led by some "educated" people on top of the chain. Sure, having "pleb soldiers" sure helps, but the heads of revolutions always came from a fairly educated background, never from "the mass" of people.

The main reason why revolutions have been fairly rare lately is that these people have been admitted to the ruling class. So why bother revolting?

Re:You can't opt out of capitalist imperialism (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495701)

It has to be smashed, and the only force with the power to smash it is the international proletariat.

Heh, it NEVER works that way! The proletariat is always handed over from one beaten-down lord to the next new lord in line. Communist intelligentsia was one of the harshest masters ever. And the ones who thought the problem was in "intelligentsia" part were THE worst (Khmer Rouge).

Face it: we are never going to be free by the system. Only possible freedoms for those who notice when it's gone are the temporary freedoms of outlaw and of wildlife between hunting seasons.

This is why we have Tor (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495045)

The idea that you could escape from your own government's laws by keeping your data somewhere else is preposterous on its face. At some point, you have to get that data, and that data will have to cross into your own location, which would make you in possession of the data and liable for possessing it. Unlike Swiss bank accounts which hold money secretly for you, and are relatively safe from the prying eyes of the government, data is something that is not as easily picked up in person.

Tor onions. Are they good or are they whack?

Re:This is why we have Tor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495723)

You can say that now, only because of the article to wihch your statements are associated. When this was repeatedly pointed out in the past on slashdot, such comments were troll moderated to death because it was contrary to the irrational politics and ideaologies so many pirates love to spew forth on slashdot. Its a wonderful example of how it could have been a nice exchange on slashdot which was repeatedly, completely prevented because censorship of ideas which undermine their ideaologies and politics was more important than frank, honest discussions. It used to be that slashdot was more about the open exchange of ideas rather than attempting to push radical ideaologies against society; while censoring anyone who speaks out against such illogical agendas.

I completely agree with you.

You are absolutely correct. (-1, Offtopic)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495865)

Talking about nuclear power, Ayn Rand, or libertarianism on Slashdot is about as productive as trying to discuss Zionism on Wikipedia.

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1998-06-14/ [dilbert.com]

Re:This is why we have Tor (4, Funny)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495913)

Sealand is SO last year, now it's servers hosted on drone aircraft...

Re:This is why we have Tor (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496461)

Well, no, according to the comments on that article the RIAA would send their navy out to shoot the drones down.

Re:This is why we have Tor (1)

bacon.frankfurter (2584789) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496661)

That's either still in development or imaginary legend lore/vaporware, much like the TacoCopter.

Re:This is why we have Tor (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497719)

I still think pirate bay should use ronpaul blimps. Clustering up the absurdity makes easier shooting I reckon.

Re:This is why we have Tor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39497541)

I don't think it's irrational politics. Let's say a certain type of gene therapy is illegal in the United States but available in Thailand. I go there, get treatment, and then return with the results of those treatments. I'm not going to be arrested for that. Why then would I be arrested for bringing back profits from a foreign company I own? If I own a brewery in Kentucky they won't arrest me just because I live in Utah. It's completely silly.

Re:This is why we have Tor (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495903)

Good to an extent. But until everyone, ever, uses it, it is vulnerable to fake nodes and someone with plenty of IPs under a fake company. (AKA, spying groups)

Not only that, laws could be passed in any, or even most, countries that prevents you from becoming a node because it counts as being a server, which most ISPs actually already have in their EULAs as things you aren't allowed to do on residential lines from what I understand.
At least, something similar could be stretched to include Tor as such a service if they were annoyed enough and/or some big terrorist attack were to happen.

With systems that use ideas like onion routing, they really need to be an all or nothing approach.
Closer to nothing (like it is now), the least security. Closer to all, there should be very little problems.

One thing these systems need to do, however, is deal with leaks better, if they wish to allow anonymity for the simpleton.
Plugins for most web browsers, for example, can leak your IP all over the place.
Nobody wants to have to have a separate browser for browsing anonymously due to some new tyrannic overlords wanting to screw over the common man, so until it does, it will remain a niche.

I remember seeing some experiment where people were able to make darknets that worked entirely inside the browser, no installs needed due to the new HTML5 features.
And another that equally hid secure data inside normal port 80 traffic, making it much harder to filter out through awful port filtering.
And of course there is also things that deal with files themselves. The OFFS, or owner-free filesystem, was an interesting idea that splits files up in to such tiny parts that they could technically be owned by many files, and until they are actually formed, you couldn't really say "hey you, that there is copyrighted music!" since I could just turn around and claim their alphabet soup was as equally copyright infringing.

These and other tech will really need to mature a lot if they wish to create a secure internet away from increasingly abusive tactics and plain spying.
However, they will also equally open up a world disgust to levels unseen previously, whether it is child porn or actual terrorists.
But this is the cost for ultimate freedom.
One solution would be an open directory which is also self-regulated, sort of like a grand Web of Trust system. No censorship + ratings is ideally a much better system, but it still allows such content to exist and be spread. (could still be abused, though)
This is also another thing that people would rather not be associated with. "Using Tor, you pedo!"
Preconceptions could be used against people to shoot down any sort of attempts to increase popularity of such systems.

Re:This is why we have Tor (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496087)

At some point, you have to get that data, and that data will have to cross into your own location, which would make you in possession of the data and liable for possessing it.

What about a situation wherein you move data from Server A in Germany to Server B in Switzerland? It never crosses your computer, all you do is send the command.

Re:This is why we have Tor (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496683)

What about a situation wherein you move data from Server A in Germany to Server B in Switzerland? It never crosses your computer, all you do is send the command

You score a technical point, but I have to ask: what would be the practical usefulness of doing that. It's like hoarding money, or ammo, or food: although you can wave it around and its presence might make you feel secure, if you don't actually use it all you've gone is created a big pile.

Re:This is why we have Tor (1)

BForrester (946915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496643)

You know that, for most intents and purposes, money is just data, right?

Re:This is why we have Tor (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497341)

Actually its power, data is just a means of transmitting that power.

I think you miss the point, though.... (2)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497013)

The reason Sealand was created was an understanding that most often, government and law enforcement will attempt to shut down the SOURCE of data they have a problem with. Just like the "War on Drugs", they're most interested in catching the major dealers, as opposed to small time individual drug users (though certainly, many of them get caught in the wide nets they're constantly putting out, too).

With computer data, it's kind of an "every man for himself" situation out there. If you want to view illegal content? You can do so, but you better be well versed in how to scrub it off of your machine when you're done viewing it, or know how to encrypt it so it can't be found and accessed by anyone but yourself. The SOURCES of the data are the ones at greater risk.

Of course, realistically, Sealand never really worked, because ultimately, they didn't think on nearly large enough of a scale. If you're going to declare a territory is ruled by your OWN laws and not a part of any other nation, you're going to have to fight for it. That means, you better have enough of a population living there so you can maintain a standing army of some sort, and you have to pose some sort of risk to those who might decide to forcibly take you over. (By that, I mean a number of things, including simply the fact that in order to do so, a government would have to injure, kill or take prisoner a significant number of people -- which would raise "red flags" with enough other people about human rights issues.) You should also really possess some natural resources and be able to maintain a level of self-sufficiency. (Even a small island would seem to be much more valuable an asset than a man-made vessel out in the ocean. At least an island is made of actual land/soil, meaning crops can be grown on it.)

Re:I think you miss the point, though.... (2)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497797)

Not to mention you might not want to start with a former British military outpost which is located beyond any doubt what so ever inside the territorial waters of England and has ALWAYS been considered British soil. They could of moved London on board and it wouldn't have mattered, its part of England.

What these guys did was no different than a moon shiner in the Ozarks claiming he doesn't live in America and isn't bound by American laws.

He can say it, but you're an idiot if you believe him.

But back to what you said, if they ever had any value, they'd just be overrun by someone like Somali pirates. Not them specifically, but lets face it, there are plenty of people with nothing to live for that could take out that little base with bodies alone.

ah, libertarians (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495063)

The freedom-minded Hastings had moved to Anguilla to work on online gambling projects

What they really want is an abolition of all regulation so they can exploit your weaknesses and suck you dry.

I wonder whether Parker and Stone are finally realising this with their latest South Park episode on Cash for Gold services?

Re:ah, libertarians (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495075)

Libertarian, n:

A person who believes that oppression is best handled by the private sector.

Troll, n: TheRaven64 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495087)

Anytime you *think* you have the intellect to 'get the better of me'? Come on over here -> http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2734503&cid=39493361 [slashdot.org] & disprove any points I have made on hosts files there, you trolling worm!

(Along with the thoughts & opinions of your /. peers that outnumber your craven tactics 40++:1 and actually agree that hosts files are useful for speed, security, and more of beneficial value to they and others)

You're 'so brave' doing cowardly little trollish ad hominem attack attempts, in your snide little comment there -> http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2734503&cid=39406223 [slashdot.org] !

Let's see how well you bear up under fire when you're challenged to disprove not only the thoughts of others on hosts files benefits they have gotten using custom hosts files, but also points I have made in favor of hosts files that have gotten myself modded up MANY TIMES here by others also (which is tough to get as an AC since /. buries our posts by default).

* It is going to be a PLEASURE annihilating you...

APK

P.S.=> So yes - that's right: I am going to make it a point to humiliate you now, worm.

Especially since you saw fit to attempt to try to 'start up' with me there with an off-topic illogical failing attempt @ ad hominem attacks directed my way there!

So - now the shoe's on the other foot, except that it will illustrate your inadequacy in things technical in computing hugely, proving this is no mere ad hominem attack on my part (only payback you merited, and best part is? YOU only did this, to yourself, worm)... apk

Re:Troll, n: TheRaven64 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495187)

You seriously need to get out more, try a hobby.

Sincerely
- AC

Re:Troll, n: TheRaven64 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495205)

You are gibbering. Please stop.

Re:Troll, n: TheRaven64 (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495245)

I recommend risperidone.

Re:Troll, n: TheRaven64 (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495383)

I recommend risperidone.

It's best with a high-quality vodka, a splash of Lillet and a dash of bitters.

Over crushed ice.

And a loaded .45

Re:Troll, n: TheRaven64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495275)

I have a few questions:

1. WTF?
2. Is it possible to make an ad hominem attack on an anonymous coward?
3. Will the accelerated demise of rational debate (replaced by argumentative zealotry) lead to to the inevitable subjugation of the Human race by Klackons, Psilons, Scientologists or all of the above?

Re:Troll, n: TheRaven64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495297)

Wow. To be honest, I don't think anyone could ever humiliate anyone more than what you just did to yourself.

Re:Troll, n: TheRaven64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495637)

You are one sad little man.

Re:ah, libertarians (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495309)

False. You are an idiot. Being an idiot is your right. But stop spreading it, jackass.

Re:ah, libertarians (0)

darjen (879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495341)

Because government's track record is so much better?

Re:ah, libertarians (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495403)

Democrat, n:
A person who believes the more government you have, the freer you are.

Republican, n:
A person who believes that every American is born with a mandate to love Jesus and murderously despise foreigners.

Inaccurate and inflammatory statemens are fun!

Re:ah, libertarians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495927)

Government does protect me from the libertarian sociopaths, so while there are limits, generally the more of it the better if it keeps people like you chained up.

We need to identify your kind and tax you more. Just you. Double what everyone else pays.

Re:ah, libertarians (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496415)

... the more of it the better if it keeps people like you chained up.

We need to identify your kind and tax you more. Just you. Double what everyone else pays.

If only these "sociopaths" were as well adjusted as you...

Re:ah, libertarians (-1, Troll)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496153)

That's the correct definition of every republican I ever met.

Re:ah, libertarians (5, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497751)

Republican, n:
A person who believes that every American is born with a mandate to love Jesus and murderously despise foreigners.

If you think that's an inaccurate statement, you haven't been paying attention to the primary debates.

Re:ah, libertarians (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495447)

I was amused.. people need to lighten up!

Re:ah, libertarians (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495553)

Libertarians have been repeatedly shown to have the least sense of humour of all Internet kooks.

A good joke does, after all, tend to be determined implicitly by a vote of peers then spread freely by them. A single powerful man cannot monopolise all the jokes, nor will the covetous dreamer get rich from marketing his jokes to wealthy men. Frankly it's only a matter of time before libertarians declare humour to be a dangerous manifestation of statism.

Re:ah, libertarians (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497627)

Libertarians have been repeatedly shown to have the least sense of humour of all Internet kooks.

You should read up on Russian Soviet era Black Humour. Just because you don't get it, doesn't mean it isn't funny.

Re:ah, libertarians (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496497)

Well, no, they don't think that

They usually think that the Government does a excellent job at it.

Re:ah, libertarians (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496705)

Libertarian, n:

A person who understands the difference between government oppression and free market and prefers free market.

you left out a noun (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497365)

Libertarian, n:

A person who understands the difference between government oppression and free market oppression and prefers free market oppression.

Re:you left out a noun (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497699)

Free market cannot in principle oppress you, there is no legal body that is above you in the eyes of the law to do so.

Re:ah, libertarians (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497399)

aka, an idiot who doesn't know history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinkerton_National_Detective_Agency [wikipedia.org]

"Pinkerton's agents performed services ranging from security guarding to private military contracting work. At its height, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency employed more agents than there were members of the standing army of the United States of America, causing the state of Ohio to outlaw the agency due to fears it could be hired as a private army or militia."

and do you know what these guys did when people tried to exercise their freedoms?

the rise of pinkertons is why we have things like minimum wage, hours per week to work, no child labor, etc.

because without government, the private sector WILL rape you and enslave you, until the people get fed enough and fight back. why? MORE PROFIT, MOOOOORRRREEEE. there is no other motivation. and this motivation blows right past respect for freedom, or anything else

the government sucks. its just that compared to all other options, the government is the best option

Re:ah, libertarians (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497737)

and do you know what these guys did when people tried to exercise their freedoms?

So, why wasn't your much vaunted gov't there to protect them when they tried to exercise their freedoms? Sitting on its hands? Toadying to deep pocketed corporatists? Accepting bribes to keep their hands off?

At least Sitting Bull had the guts to stand up against the bastards.

Re:ah, libertarians (4, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497753)

There is no child labour because of industrial revolution and capitalism, which increased productivity of the population to the point, when parents didn't have to send their kids to work.

Or did you think somebody forced the parents to do so? Or do you believe that gov't has wealth that it gets from anywhere else rather than stealing it from the people who produce it?

Gov't has nothing, children always worked until free market capitalism and industrialisation increased people's productivity by applying savings as investment to build/acquire better tools.

It's capital that makes people more productive, because capital creates better tools, and so instead of a stick, the person gets a shovel and then an excavator and can do work of hundreds of people by himself.

Without free market capitalism and industrialisation children still would have worked since very young age, and now, that USA has abandoned the principles of freedom, children WILL WORK ONCE AGAIN, and they will starve and that's what your bankrupt ideology is leading to, circlehead.

As to pinkertons, etc. - I would absolutely protect my private property with private security force, and that's my absolute right as a property owner and it's my responsibility as well.

Gov't is tyranny, and those who promote more of it are the tyrants.

Re:ah, libertarians (4, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497801)

Oh, and as to the profit motive - that's right. That's the ONLY motive that increases the overall wealth in the market because it allows allocating resources efficiently. There is no other mechanism known to men to do so, no amount of central planning, no amount of dictatorship and totalitarianism can do as good of a job allocating resources as private individuals and businesses within the context of free market (market free of gov't intervention).

The more profit the better.

Profit is VIRTUE IN ITSELF, because it is the only real indicator telling us whether the enterprise is worthwhile or worthless and which way to move.

Waste of effort (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495085)

Sealand has no practical sovereignty. The most they can say is that so far the UK hasn't chosen to take over, and they're not aware of any plans to do so. Nobody believes the UK couldn't take Sealand if they want to. Nobody believes that it would be a diplomatic problem for the UK in their relations with other countries if they did. So Sealand, at best, can operate only if the UK lets it. That's not sovereign in any meaningful sense. Even if you feel that it would be wrong for the UK to interfere, that's hardly something you're going to rely on to stop them doing so.

Re:Waste of effort (-1, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495429)

"Nobody believes the UK couldn't take Sealand if they want to. "

Last time they were seen in action was the Falkland Islands wher they had their asses handed to them by a bunch of natives. They are a shadow of what they once were.

Re:Waste of effort (2)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495579)

Sealand is no Argentina, though.

Re:Waste of effort (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495647)

Is that why Argentina took over the Falklands and renamed them the Malvinas?

No, wait, the UK still owns them.

Moreover, Sealand is not Argentina; a rowboat and a machine gun could take over the whole "country".

Re:Waste of effort (4, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495671)

You seem to be confused: The UK *won* that war. Quite easily, actually.

Re:Waste of effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495691)

Firstly there are no natives of the Falkland Islands nor have there ever been. The only occupants have been European (or of European origin) colonnial powers - France, Spain, USA, Argentina, Britain. That's why sovereignty is such a thorny question.

Secondly the UK won a decisive victory in the Falklands War which ended with the total capitulation of the Argentinian forces.

That said, the UK and all her allies have been having their asses repeatedly handed to them by a bunch of natives in Afghanistan for much of the last decade, which is significantly more recent than the Falklands War.

Oh no. I've allowed myself to be trolled, haven't I?

Re:Waste of effort (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495705)

Uhm, what part of the UK winning decisively against Argentina did you miss?

Re:Waste of effort (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495815)

Last time they were seen in action was the Falkland Islands wher they had their asses handed to them by a bunch of natives. They are a shadow of what they once were.

Who won? And at what relative cost?

Also the "natives" were armed with mostly French and British and American kit.

Re:Waste of effort (3, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495819)

Last time they were seen in action was the Falkland Islands wher they had their asses handed to them by a bunch of natives.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York (who was there) and Margaret Thatcher (PM at the time) would beg to differ, for 2 reasons:
1. Argentina had fairly sophisticated military equipment, with very effective missiles and infantry, and were most definitely not 'a bunch of natives'.
2. The UK won and had 1/3 the casualties of Argentina.

Re:Waste of effort (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496131)

3. The war was prosecuted with wildly uneven lines of communication. The RN task force operated at over 8,000 miles from home base [wikipedia.org] . The Argentinians had less than 300 miles from their bases to the combat zones, and although this was a long haul for their aircraft (limiting combat time), their primary logistics were much simpler; especially since the Argentine mainland was never threatened. Interdiction would be limited to air and submarine attacks on transport and combat sorties. At least on paper, this was a huge advantage to Argentina, so much so that "The U.S. Navy considered a successful counter-invasion by the British to be 'a military impossibility'". [wikipedia.org]

Re:Waste of effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496807)

>>with very effective missiles and infantry
Agree whith the efectiveness of the exocet/super etendard combo but "very effective infantry"??? At this time argentine land forces were formed whith non voluntary conscript, at the very begining of they ineffective military training. Sum up the providencial inability of their officiality to do anything different to "only get a wage" and you get the whole picture.
>> 2. The UK won and had 1/3 the casualties of Argentina.
Mostly because a UK nuclear submarine sunk a argentinian ship (General Belgrano) out of the war theater.
That ship was moving out from islands, carrying a thousand conscripts. Deaths account for an half of the total loss of argentinean forces.
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARA_General_Belgrano

Re:Waste of effort (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497385)

Mostly because a UK nuclear submarine sunk a argentinian ship (General Belgrano) out of the war theater.

When you're in a war, there are no "out of the war theaters".

That ship was moving out from islands, carrying a thousand conscripts. Deaths account for an half of the total loss of argentinean forces.

Which still leaves the Aregentians losing more than the Brits. Including losses on Sheffield, which also didn't have much to so with their respective infantry.

Re:Waste of effort (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496105)

Last time they were seen in action was the Falkland Islands

Technically this is correct.

No one sees the SAS coming.

Re:Waste of effort (1)

haydensdaddy (1719524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497703)

No one sees the SAS coming.

No, that's the Spanish Inquisition

Re:Waste of effort (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495733)

The main reason the UK hasn't done anything is that nobody on Sealand has actually broken any UK laws, so there's nothing to do. The owner could make a case for ownership of the platform under UK law, but I think he'd have a hard time convincing the courts of statehood.

There was a ruling in 1968 that it was outside British jurisdiction, but that's a lot different from accepting it as a sovereign state, and since then, British territorial waters have been extended.

Re:Waste of effort (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496273)

No-one has done anything illegal... except for shoot at civilians in boats. Stage armed invasions. Use and take British military equipment without permission. Kidnap foreign nationals. Data Piracy. Tax evasion. Smuggling. Oh and Various cases for treason could be applied too.

Residents of "Sealand" have broken lots of laws and show themselves to be quite indifferent to the laws of the land. The reason no-one deals with Sealand is because it would be a political hassel. They've broken plenty of laws.

Re:Waste of effort (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496927)

except for shoot at civilians in boats. Stage armed invasions. Use and take British military equipment without permission. Kidnap foreign nationals.

That all happened when Sealand was in international waters.

Data Piracy.

When? Unless someone actually makes a complaint, they're assumed innocent. The data haven did have a policy that they wouldn';t host data that violated UK copyright laws.

Tax evasion

I don't think anyone is using Sealand's alleged statehood for tax evasion Smuggling

Unless people are smuggling to Sealand and keeping stuff there, claiming jurisdiction over Sealand is pointless.

Residents of "Sealand" have broken lots of laws and show themselves to be quite indifferent to the laws of the land. The reason no-one deals with Sealand is because it would be a political hassel. They've broken plenty of laws.

Okay. Maybe I'm being too pedantic. They're not breaking enough laws publicly enough to cause enough of a problem. I'll bet quite a few people are doing those things fairly regularly. It's ignored because police resources are better spent elsewhere.

Re:Waste of effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495941)

Every time the topic of Sealand comes up I find myself wishing the royal navy would use it for a live fire exercise or demolitions practice and put an end to the charade once and for all. After all, they could probably put forward a pretty strong case for ownership of the thing - they built it after all.

Why not a real country? (2)

fervus (1841214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495099)

I wonder why no REAL country in this world wouldn't receive Wikileaks voluntarily. I mean... there has to be a real government out there who just loves trashing the other BIG countries with wikileaks. In the end it's information and information can be used to manipulate people.. somebody MUST love the idea, even if that somebody is a country low on human rights like North Korea or Burma. I'm not saying it's a good thing to have this data being used for manipulations.. I'm just wondering why is there that nobody actually uses it and welcomes it for that matter.

Foreign aid for a start (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495167)

and there is that pesky little problem of the other countries being able to threaten corporations and banks so that you would have no commerce.

Re:Why not a real country? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495175)

Wikileaks blew their load and now they've got nothing.

Re:Why not a real country? (4, Interesting)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495693)

It's like this. North Korea would be *thrilled*, just thrilled to host Wikileaks. As long as Assange can make reasonable (read "absolutely iron clad" ) guarantees that North Korea itself will never, ever, ever be portrayed as anything other than a country of perfection and bliss. The problem for Wikileaks is two fold:

1) They are equal opportunity whistle-blowers. They aren't going to compromise their principles by immunizing their host country from scrutiny.
2) Most countries that really want to embarrass the US have far worse secrets than the US does, and even less of a sense of humor about them being revealed.

The US may want to prosecute Assange and put him in jail for revealing classified documents (Which I happen to think they can't legally do, he neither stole those documents, nor had legal access to them via having signed a security agreement. He just published what someone else gave him), but North Korea would happily put him in a labor camp and work him to death for publishing anything that reflects vaguely poorly on them.

Re:Why not a real country? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496211)

They aren't going to compromise their principles by immunizing their host country from scrutiny.

^This. The moment Wikileaks or anyone of the like starts tailoring their revelations to shield some and damage others, they become another propaganda organ and lose any credibility they might have.

So the idea of stateless hosting is probably quite appealing, even if it's a mere fantasy.

Re:Why not a real country? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497471)

When you give a government a black eye, that is a crime in and of itself to those in charge. It is a foolish man who taunts a government like he did. When you piss off those in power to that degree, the law becomes quite irrelevant. Why couldnt he release anonymously? Why did he have to attach his name to it? O thats right because hes a self-aggrandizing asshole. They dont care if they break the law to get you, and will most likely get away with it.

Re:Why not a real country? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495707)

Wikileaks had dirt on every country where the US have/had an embassy... Which doesn't leave that many.

Re:Why not a real country? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39497531)

Unless someone sets up a server on Marie Byrd Land or Bir Tawil, I think you're screwed. Every country on earth knows how horrendously corrupt and violent the USA is, so they don't want to get on their bad side.

So have fun getting a server to keep running on Marie Byrd Land (at least you won't need additional cooling for the servers... supplying them with power could be tricky) or Bir Tawil (I'm pretty sure you'd be wiped off the face of the earth by either Egypt or Sudan if you even tried thinking about setting up something in there).

Failed for practical reasons (5, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495123)

Sealands failed because hosting anything there was crazy expensive and their only known data link was WIFI from the UK mainland.

Also anytime the UK government felt like shutting them down they could. The UN won't defend a country it doesn't recognize.

Re:Failed for practical reasons (3, Informative)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495817)

Also anytime the UK government felt like shutting them down they could. The UN won't defend a country it doesn't recognize.

Even easier than that: they could just shut down the Wifi access point, which would be on UK territory... Same weakness than the raspberry pies in the sky, really...

Re:Failed for practical reasons (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495855)

The UN won't defend a country it doesn't recognize.

In other words, the UN won't defend anybody from the USA, Russia, China, the UK, or France, or an ally of one of those powers, unless there's some complex diplomatic maneuvering like what happened at the beginning of the Korean War.

Re:Failed for practical reasons (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39496379)

The UN won't defend a country it doesn't recognize.

Really, least of all Palestine...

Cables still have to come ashore (3, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495125)

Isn't the big problem that Sealand's cables would still have to come ashore somewhere? Even if they used satellite the ground stations would still be in somebody's jurisdiction.

The only way I can see their concept working is on their local LAN. Once they hook up to the internet, they can simply be regulated through their upstream carriers.

Re:Cables still have to come ashore (2)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495151)

They didn't even have cables or the satellite connection they claimed to have. It was long distance WIFI done on the cheap from the UK mainland.

Their setup was rubbish.

Re:Cables still have to come ashore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495183)

Give me wireless any day. As long as it's run from both sides by first class radio engineers rather than using off-the-shelf equipment on specific frequencies, of course.

Re:Cables still have to come ashore (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495249)

I think you're missing the point that it takes two radios to work. They were, for all intents and purposes, merely a .uk POP, not independent in any way.

Now if they had also run a cable to france, a cable to spain, a cable to canada, now we're talking.

Re:Cables still have to come ashore (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495255)

The problem isn't technical, it's legal. Even if (and that's a big if) Sealand is an independent country, if all of their traffic goes via a single radio transceiver on the UK mainland that means that it's just as easy for the UK government to shut them down as if their servers were hosted in the UK.

See troll (TheRaven64) RUN everyone (lol)... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495271)

Anytime you *think* you have the intellect to 'get the better of me'? Come on over here -> http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2734503&cid=39493361 [slashdot.org] & disprove any points I have made on hosts files there!

(Along with the thoughts & opinions of your /. peers that outnumber your craven tactics 40++:1 and actually agree that hosts files are useful for speed, security, and more of beneficial value to they and others)

You're 'so brave' doing cowardly little trollish ad hominem attack attempts, in your snide little comment there -> http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2734503&cid=39406223 [slashdot.org] !

Let's see how well you bear up under fire when you're challenged to disprove not only the thoughts of others on hosts files benefits they have gotten using custom hosts files, but also points I have made in favor of hosts files that have gotten myself modded up MANY TIMES here by others also (which is tough to get as an AC since /. buries our posts by default).

* It is going to be a PLEASURE annihilating you...

APK

P.S.=> So yes - that's right: I am going to make it a point to humiliate you now, worm.

Especially since you saw fit to attempt to try to 'start up' with me there with an off-topic illogical failing attempt @ ad hominem attacks directed my way there!

So - now the shoe's on the other foot, except that it will illustrate your inadequacy in things technical in computing hugely, proving this is no mere ad hominem attack on my part (only payback you merited, and best part is? YOU only did this, to yourself, worm)... apk

Re:See troll (TheRaven64) RUN everyone (lol)... ap (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495633)

OMG.. you've discovered the hosts file. You're such a smart person. Thanks for spending on all this time informing us on /. about this incredible advance in computing.

Re:Cables still have to come ashore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495295)

Yeah, so you would hopefully have dozens of backup transceivers in various jurisdictions - no reason why you can't have multiple active at once, too. Cables can be cut. Finding and blocking and intelligent use of frequency hopping, e.g. spread spectrum signalling, is not so easy.

Re:Cables still have to come ashore (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497147)

Sealands isn't near enough to any other country for a fast and practical wifi link. Satellite is too slow and expensive.

Yes they should have multiple uplinks but I doubt they ever did.

Re:Cables still have to come ashore (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496129)

Sealand could launch its own satellite and bypass all of that stuff.

Re:Cables still have to come ashore (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496305)

Nah... Sealand is smaller than the footprint required to launch a rocket. Also, at that latitude it would be more difficult than at the equator. They would need to aquire territory near the equator and with a military of two people- that might be tough.

Definitely not news anymore (4, Interesting)

LittleImp (1020687) | more than 2 years ago | (#39495349)

This story shows up every couple of months...

Re:Definitely not news anymore (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495797)

Maybe it's a tidal thing.

Not a real country (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495387)

How can it be, when there are no horses?

UK - Horses.

US - Horses

Spain - Horses.

Sweden - Horses

France - Horses

Sealand - No horses!

WARNING - OBVIOUS RESPONSE FOLLOWS (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39495465)

Sealand - seahorses.

Sealand, the BitCoin of countries! (2)

sirwired (27582) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496405)

Sealand (and HavenCo)... just like BitCoins. Interesting in an academic sense, but not at all practical or viable in the real world, for reasons which should have been obvious to everyone involved before things even got started.

"Safe Havens" do not exist (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496893)

There is no "Safe Haven". Nowhere. Unless it's backed by lots of money, armies of lawyers and enough firepower, nowhere can be counted as "safe" if they come for you. Don't even mention public opinion, it doesn't matter: those in power have learned it can be easily distracted and only has about a couple of days' worth of attention.

Spelling (1)

Alomex (148003) | more than 2 years ago | (#39496993)

The proper English spelling of naÃveté is libertarianism, as in, "all we need to do is create our own island and we would be free".

No you wouldn't, and if you had spent five seconds thinking about it you would see the obvious flaws on your naÃve solution. Or you can call it "libertarian" and automatically feel validated without having to think about it.

Too tiny (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497623)

Having read the whole paper, the history part is great, and the legal part is speculative. The key point that comes out is that Sealand was just too small to be taken seriously as a country. The population ranged from 1 to 4. That was the big problem.

If you wanted to start a data haven, Nauru is probably the place. Nauru, population about 9000, is a moderately successful financial haven. Nauru is recognized as a country by all the relevant organizations. It's been a popular location for "High Yield Investment Programs".

The country was once supported by phosphate mines, and had a very high income per capita until the phosphate ran out in the 1980s. 90% of the land area is now a useless wasteland. [wikipedia.org] 90% of the people are unemployed. GDP of the whole country is $60 million and dropping. Only aid from Australia keeps the place going. If someone was looking for a microstate to buy, Nauru would be the choice.

That's the low end of microstates.

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