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HavenCo In Trouble?

timothy posted about 11 years ago | from the naysayers-revenge dept.

Censorship 305

Evil Al writes "News.com is reporting on the talk given by Ryan Lackey, former CTO of HavenCo, at DefCon. Lackey claims that the company is teetering on the edge due to internal upheaval and lack of customers. Oh, and 9/11, of course."

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RKZ KILLED MY WOMBAT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624735)

fo shzzle homie.

fp in trouble? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624736)

nope - just fine!

Re:fp in trouble? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624755)

YOU ARE MASSIVE FAILURE!

doodes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624740)

i clam first post for the unix team who's about to get off shift!

Re:doodes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624770)

And you have failed it!!!

Re:doodes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624792)

But we are still about to get off shift....

Re:doodes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624804)

whatever dude i'm going to tell the boss who's 2 cubicles down you're wasting your time on this shithole

that and you recommended we use SCO at the last company meeting.

MOD PARENT DOWN HE'S A SCO LOVER

Re:doodes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624827)

FAG

Re:doodes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624839)

*ME* wasting time! The proxy logs show you leading the AC-of-the-Week race. If you weren't so slow you might have won the First-Post Contest.

Re:doodes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624852)

fuck that, this lousy triple vpn double firewall proxy server NAT'tted POS network slowed me down

that and i was busy taking a dump in your laptop bag

Corruption (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624743)

See more here [noaa.gov]

i think... (4, Insightful)

jeffy124 (453342) | about 11 years ago | (#6624751)

...it's the more the fact the company only had a whopping six customers.

Re:i think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624790)

his own mother was probably one of them, and moms typically get free service if their kid starts up a business.

Re:i think... (3, Funny)

acehole (174372) | about 11 years ago | (#6624814)

Well that's what you get for having your office 10 miles out to sea.

I heard the investor prospectus came with some floaties.

Re:i think... (1)

O_Chaos (695327) | about 11 years ago | (#6624912)

Exactly, what about the huge bridge that Blake wanted to put there, with the airport etc... Give it up, make it a prison or something :)

Re:i think... (4, Informative)

Zeinfeld (263942) | about 11 years ago | (#6624889)

...it's the more the fact the company only had a whopping six customers.

According to Lackey the problem was that HavenCo failled to realize the pure vision of the founders. He pretty much sounds like one of those unreconstructed 1960s communists that claim that the reason the USSR failled is because it was not communist enough.

The fact that they only had 6 customers would explain why the UK authorities appear to have shown so little interest. The platform is inside UK teritorial waters - period. The UK government does not recognize 'Prince Roy' and in this case it is the opinion of the executive and not the judiciary that is relevant. Extreeme ideologues like Lackey can believe what they want, the scheme was doomed from the start because they were not immune to UK law.

The US citizens were certainly not immune from US law. The US has in recent years exported a large number of its laws. For that matter so has the UK.

Under UK law the platform as a man made object is therefore a ship. Ships do not have territorial claims. A ship that does not carry the flag of a recognized nationality is subject to the law of any country that cares to exercise jurisdiction.

There are plenty of real countries where the authorities will turn a bloind eye to any enterprise - at a price. Nigeria for example where the government tollerates the advance fee fraud spammers who have them on the payroll.

The HavenCo employees all went to and from the platfom through Heathrow airport. They could have been arrested by the UK authorities any time they wanted to. Lackey was working in the UK without a work permit.

Re:i think... (5, Informative)

azzy (86427) | about 11 years ago | (#6625032)

It was however outside of UK territorial waters at the time it was claimed. And as such was not under UK law. The UK extender their territorial waters around it when it was claimed. The legal/political position is a little unclear, however a UK judge has previously declared he had no authority over it as it wasn't part of the UK.

Re:i think... (5, Informative)

filledwithloathing (635304) | about 11 years ago | (#6625062)

The platform is inside UK teritorial waters - period. The UK government does not recognize 'Prince Roy' and in this case it is the opinion of the executive and not the judiciary that is relevant.
Actually when Sealand was "founded", UK Territorial waters only extended 3 miles. You cannot claim territory by extending your Territorial Waters under International Law. Since the UK courts have ruled that they have no jurisdiction in Sealand it would seem that Sealand was and is a country.

The UK could not extend it's Territorial Waters 100 miles and then claim the beaches of Normandy.

Re:i think... (0, Troll)

jovlinger (55075) | about 11 years ago | (#6625252)

... erm why not? It's not like the french would put up a fight...

too easy. I know.

Re:i think... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625072)

have you read their history? They have been treated as a sovereign government for over 30 years.

It has been challenged MANY times and has won.

Other countries have even sent diplomats to Sealand to make dealings.

The UK has no more of a claim of rights to Sealand than Sealand has a right to claim rights to anything else.

Re:i think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625158)

The UK has no more of a claim of rights to Sealand than Sealand has a right to claim rights to anything else.


Except it's 10 miles off the English coast, closer to the UK than any other country, within our claimed territorial waters, and is an old WW2 fortress built by the British Army. Plus, as Iraq should have showed (not to mention the Falklands), Britain isn't shy about starting a (preferably small) war if it feels the need.

Re:i think... (2, Funny)

garcia (6573) | about 11 years ago | (#6625188)

what does this have to do with anything? When Sealand was claimed it was more than the 3 miles off shore that the UK had claimed as it's territorial waters. It later expanded those territorial waters but it could not also claim Sealand as it was already a soverign state at the time.

I seriously doubt that the UK is terribly interested in a reclaiming a rusted gun platform in the middle of the ocean with a single toilet.

Re:i think... (2, Funny)

Deusy (455433) | about 11 years ago | (#6625278)

The HavenCo employees all went to and from the platfom through Heathrow airport. They could have been arrested by the UK authorities any time they wanted to. Lackey was working in the UK without a work permit.

You're giving the our government way too much credit by implying a lack of action due to apathy.

The reality is that they probably haven't got a clue who Robert Lackey is. He flashed his US passport at customs. The only record of who he is and how long he's been here will be in his passport.

I think much of British prosperity comes down to the incompetence of our politicians allowing business to go on relatively unencumbered.

I mean, really, where else is it written in law that there's fine of a loaf of bread if you throw your faeces out of your balcony window and hit a passer-by in the street.

RIAA Air Force (3, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | about 11 years ago | (#6624752)

Not only that, this place would be an early target for the RIAA to test out the bombers in its new air force.

"The king called up his jet fighters
He said you better eaarn your pay
Drop your bombs between the minarets
Down the Casbah way"

If Grokster is outlawed, only outlaws will have Grokster

Re:RIAA Air Force (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624778)

If Grokster is outlawed, only outlaws will have Grokster

Isn't that pretty much the case now?

Re:RIAA Air Force (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | about 11 years ago | (#6624860)

No, hordes of bandwidth-starved open source developers are supposedly using programs like Grokster and Kazaa to exchange source code and distribute binaries.

Re:RIAA Air Force (4, Interesting)

nsda's_deviant (602648) | about 11 years ago | (#6624785)

ha, that is true

but if you meant "bombers" as in "port spamming" or such, it is very conceivable. if people can distrubute music and RIAAs requests recieve no action by HavenCo since RIAA has no jurisdiction (this was exactlly HavenCo's stategy), then RIAA would be inclined to use every security hole-IP DOS attack-anything that they could come up with because again, who would stop them? Itd be cool to watch tho, it would be the wild wild west cyber.

Re:RIAA Air Force (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624874)

Haah, but the RIAA is in a jurisdiction, where attacking/cracking computer systems is a criminal offense, and they can be sued in their jurisdiction, and the actual people doing that can get (improbable, but still potential) jail time !

Can't have your cake and eat it too. (1)

BlackSabbath (118110) | about 11 years ago | (#6625041)

Excellent point.

If HavenCo seeks to avoid litigation by claiming to be outside of any RIAA jurisdiction, then it follows that HavenCo has no legal recourse to defend itself against the RIAA.

Re:RIAA Air Force (1)

dr_dank (472072) | about 11 years ago | (#6625108)

then RIAA would be inclined to use every security hole-IP DOS attack-anything that they could come up with because again, who would stop them?

Better yet, cut one of the fiber cables going to the platform. I don't think they have great security of those on the ocean floor.

Spelling? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624753)

The word is lack, not lak.

Old news. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624754)

Damn. /. is behind the times again.

Oh no! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624766)

Not a lak of customers!!

Havenco an interesting case... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624772)

When they first came on the scene, they claimed to not need a fire suppression system due to the fact that their entire facility had been flooded with nitrogen, thus requiring technicians to wear scuba gear to install new equipment. Does anyone know if this was true or if it was BS?

Re:Havenco an interesting case... (4, Interesting)

goraknotsteve (648117) | about 11 years ago | (#6624967)

My old office used to have an "inert gas" fire suppresion system that meant you could only enter the server room with special dongles. If any of the dongles were in use then the system would not flood the room until they were all back in the slots outside the room. Can't remember what the gas was though, but there were certainly emergency gas masks in the room for use in case the system failed. This was in a fairly old server room in a fairly old fashioned office so don't know how commonplace these things are. Sorry if this is slightly off-topic but thought it meritted a reply.

Most definitely Halon. (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | about 11 years ago | (#6625231)

[n/t]

SCBA, not SCUBA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625071)

When they first came on the scene, they claimed to not need a fire suppression system due to the fact that their entire facility had been flooded with nitrogen, thus requiring technicians to wear scuba gear to install new equipment.

SCBA, since they're not underwater. As to the claim re nitrogen- from a practical standpoint, sealing rooms is virtually impossible, and gasses like to disperse. From a safety standpoint, less than 14%(I think?) oxygen is considered an environment that is classified as Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health(or whatever the OSHA term is).

I'd be far more inclined to believe they have a fire suppression system and SCBA emergency stations(as is required by law in many cases).

Re:Havenco an interesting case... (5, Informative)

deblassc (652065) | about 11 years ago | (#6625124)

this is total BS according to Lackey.

havenco did not have a "sealed oxegen free room" it had 5 lan racks with about 15 servers on there.... thats it.

apparently they spent more money on getting a flakey wireless link up then they did on servers.

also in the talks he said that sealand has like 2 people residing there now.... and he said that a armed takeover would take about 10 minutes..... so anyone have a chopper I can borrow?

It was only a matter of time... (5, Insightful)

joshv (13017) | about 11 years ago | (#6624774)

These guys never had a workable business plan to begin with. They were selling bandwidth at a huge premium over what it costs just a few miles away in the UK. If you are able to pay that much, you are probably doing something illegal to begin with, and HavenCo won't host you.

This was a solution looking for a problem that never materialized. The idea certainly captured the imagination of slashdotters though.

-josh

Re:It was only a matter of time... (3, Informative)

Karamchand (607798) | about 11 years ago | (#6624803)

..something illegal to begin with, and HavenCo won't host you.

As you can read in the Acceptable Use Policy [havenco.com] on HavenCo's website they will host everything not forbidden by Sealand's law - that is just child pornography.

So you could host copyrighted and pirated videos, plans on how to make the newest mobile nuclear bomb and things like that.

Re:It was only a matter of time... (3, Funny)

grennis (344262) | about 11 years ago | (#6624832)

So you could host copyrighted and pirated videos, plans on how to make the newest mobile nuclear bomb and things like that.

Wow, sounds like a great business plan.

Re:It was only a matter of time... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624865)

Except that the article specifically states that the reason Lackey decided to leave HavenCo was because the Sealand "royal family" would not allow them to host a web site that would allow streaming copyrighted movies.

It is also mentioned that Sealand does not allow the hosting of any activity that violates international law or can be connected to terrorism, so there goes your mobile nuclear bomb.

Did you happen to read the article?

Re:It was only a matter of time... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625077)

Did you happen to read the article?

No, s/he didn't. Why should s/he when s/he gets her/his posts modded up anyway?

Re:It was only a matter of time... (2, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | about 11 years ago | (#6625149)

AC makes a very important point, I feel.
The whole edge that HavenCo has over it's mainland competitors, is it's different IP "laws." With the Sealand "Royal Family" outlawing the exploitation of the difference in IP law, HaveCo is surely doomed to failure.

I mean, what's HavenCo got to offer that's so special now?

Re:It was only a matter of time... (1)

dasmegabyte (267018) | about 11 years ago | (#6624888)

No, you couldn't. RTFA man. The "royal family" of Sealand are amazingly spineless and their approval is required for any and all new clients.

So yes, while you're right in theory, you're wrong in practice. Because havenco is essentially lying on their AUP. Something almost every shitty hosting company does.

Re:It was only a matter of time... (4, Insightful)

Kamel Jockey (409856) | about 11 years ago | (#6624897)

they will host everything not forbidden by Sealand's law

The only problem is that Sealand's Law is whatever their "Crown Prince" says it is. As quoted from the linked article:

During an interview with the BBC, the family said it would readily "turn customer information over to the authorities if there was any serious problem with our stuff," Lackey said
So no matter what the AUP may say, the real "terms of service," like the law in general in Sealand, is whatever their "ruling family" says it is. Companies like stable governments. They do not want to take risks dealing with governments that change the way they do business in a rapid manner. With this latest change, Sealand has become no different than any other jurisdiction in which internet service is offered. As a result, they can only compete on price, and with cheaper prices and more reliable service elsewhere, companies will skip over Sealand.

Also from the article:

Lackey ... said another problem was the Sealand family's tinkering with the network connection

No company will want anything to do with any government touching their connectivity in such an arbitrary manner, especially when they are paying a premium for Internet Access whose claim to fame is that they "don't do that." Another thing Lackey mentioned was Sealand's attempt to tax its customers. That is another example of a bait-and-switch tactic which will drive away existing business and scare away future customers.

Re:It was only a matter of time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625091)

"So no matter what the AUP may say, the real "terms of service," like the law in general in Sealand, is whatever their "ruling family" says it is"

Uh..."ruling family". Right. You`ve really researched this, haven't you.

Tosser.

Re:It was only a matter of time... (1)

swb (14022) | about 11 years ago | (#6625088)

It's not a terrible idea, but instead of being a site for others to host dodgy content, they should have gone into a more consumer oriented business selling secure, anonymous email, P2P supernodes, personal file sharing, and that sort of thing.

I'm not sure how you'd *pay* them anonymously, but providing the "naughty" services instead of expecting others to rent trifling bandwidth from them to do so might have provided a better revenue stream.

Congress, the new copyright bully (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624780)

Congress, the new copyright bully [com.com]
By Eric Goldman
August 6, 2003, 4:00 AM PT

Congress has become exasperated with its inability to get Americans to stop engaging in copyright infringement.

So Rep. Howard Berman jokes that he "probably" does not favor the death penalty for infringers, Sen. Orrin Hatch half-jokes that he would like to blow up the computers of infringers and Rep. John Carter wants to see infringing college kids thrown in jail for 33 months.

However, in more candid moments, members of Congress admit that they don't know what to do next, from a policy standpoint, to combat infringement. A prime example of this policy vacuum is Congress' proposal du jour, the Author, Consumer and Computer Owner Protection and Security (ACOOPS) Act.

Having criminalized willful nonprofit copyright infringement in 1997 through the No Electronic Theft Act without much success, some in Congress believe the law is too weak and needs more teeth. Thus, the new bill proposes a clear and simple standard for criminal copyright infringement: You commit a felony if you upload one infringing copyrighted work to the Internet.

Have an infringing MP3 in your shared peer-to-peer software directory? Go to jail. Post a newspaper article to your blog? Go to jail. Upload a photo taken by your wedding photographer to a family album Web site? Go to jail.

The bill does not reflect a well-thought-out policy toward criminal copyright infringement. It cannot even be blamed on pandering to the copyright owner lobby. Instead, the bill simply reflects Congress' stubborn determination to bully the American people into doing what it wants.

In the past decade, through dozens of congressional oversight hearings where usually only industry representatives testify, Congress has been completely convinced that rampant copyright infringement threatens to destroy the American economy. Having internalized this threat, Congress is now determined to fix that problem the only way it knows how--threaten ordinary citizens with jail, despite collateral consequences.

And yet, just about everyone outside the Beltway knows that criminal copyright law has already gone too far. We necessarily commit copyright infringement as an unavoidable consequence of living in a digital society. But the criminal law already treats much of that conduct the same as it treats the blatant piracy that poses more serious jeopardy to copyright owner interests. With the rules so bluntly delineated, we cannot respect them or comply.

Rather than making a seemingly endless number of ad hoc proposals, Congress needs to develop an integrated policy about criminal copyright infringement. To do so, Congress needs to realize two things. Have an infringing MP3 in your shared peer-to-peer software directory? Go to jail. Post a newspaper article to your blog? Go to jail.
First, it is not acceptable to put average Americans at the peril of going to jail for doing everyday activities. Second, if the existing laws are not yielding the desired results, perhaps they were bad policy, in which case making them tougher only compounds the initial policy failure.

There is a solution to Congress' copyright conundrum, and it does not require more legislation. If copyright owners want to curb infringement, they need to bear more responsibility. Ideally, copyright owners would develop better business models that work even in the face of widespread micro-infringements. But if such business models are not possible, copyright owners can control infringements by bringing lawsuits themselves.

The record industry has already vowed to do so, and such lawsuits should be respected, not criticized.

If the record industry thinks that its problems warrant litigation, they should use the laws that are already on the books. Of course, those lawsuits come at some risk, as they require the industry to sue its customers. But the record industry, much more so than government prosecutors, can determine the cost benefit of suing customers to reduce infringement. If the record industry decides that lawsuits are not worth it, what does that say about the need for criminal enforcement?

Thus, Congress' anger at the American public for continuing to infringe is misdirected. Instead, Congress should be angry with copyright owners for failing to use the many powerful tools that Congress has already given them. If Congress wants a sensible policy to stem infringement, try this: Before giving industry advocates new laws, make them prove that they took full advantage of the laws that Congress gave them the last time they asked.

Redundant? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624846)

Do /. moderators even know what the fuck "redundant" means? I've heard several people use it as another word for "pointless" in common speech.

I hate people.

Redundant.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624882)

1 a : exceeding what is necessary or normal : SUPERFLUOUS b : characterized by or containing an excess; specifically : using more words than necessary c : characterized by similarity or repetition d chiefly British : no longer needed for a job and hence laid off

2 : PROFUSE, LAVISH

3 : serving as a duplicate for preventing failure of an entire system (as a spacecraft) upon failure of a single component

Hrmm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624782)

and what kind of sites were considered to be havenco material?

Re:Hrmm (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624805)

The popular cracks site, cracks.am is hosted on HavenCo.

Re:Hrmm (0)

cameronsto (553364) | about 11 years ago | (#6625228)

How do you know this? I thought anonymity was a main point of their business model.

Re:Hrmm (1, Informative)

darkkewulf (690152) | about 11 years ago | (#6624903)

and what kind of sites were considered to be havenco material?

From another article [wired.com] (old):

For "security reasons," HavenCo will mention the name of only one client: Tibet Online, the Net presence of the exiled government, which is eager to escape the clutches of China.

no wonder they're in trouble! (5, Funny)

drgroove (631550) | about 11 years ago | (#6624796)

given by Ryan Lackey, former CTO of HavenCo, at DefCon

Even their ex-CTO was a Lackey!

Not worth the money... (1, Insightful)

sputnikid (191152) | about 11 years ago | (#6624799)

There are no valid reasons why anyone would need to host anything at HavenCo. In the UK you can host the same site for half of what it costs at HavenCo... and for even cheaper in the US.

Perhaps they were hoping that Napster would find refuge there?

Re:Not worth the money... (5, Interesting)

admbws (600017) | about 11 years ago | (#6624909)

The real truth is, you could find a colocation facility in China or other far-eastern country that would host you a hell of a lot cheaper. They are simply not competitive.

Furthermore, if I was hosting seriously illegal content on a huge scale, I would question the militarial resiliance of Sealand too. They are just a small fort, probably with no real defences to speak of anymore. Would a certain country or two we know go as far as invading it because the rampant piracy was hurting their economy? These countries have already ignored the UN's opinion on a certain military campaign very recently. At least only a very stupid country would dare invade China!

Re:Not worth the money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625095)

One of the classic blunders!

Valdemar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624813)

You'd think if Mercedes Lackey was going to make a fake country, she'd call it Valdemar.

To paraphrase Yoda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624816)

"Data Haven" or "Not Data Haven"

Try to pull some ride-the-fence bullshit and neither side will be happy.

AND GODDAMMIT I MISS FILM88!

poltiics? (4, Insightful)

freedommatters (664657) | about 11 years ago | (#6624818)

"The key lesson on this is if you're going to put a 'co-lo' facility somewhere, political and contract stability in that jurisdiction is very important" er, yes, and i thought the political aspect was meant to be one of the main selling points, ie, it wasn't governed by the UK. perhaps they should have sorted that one out before they tried to make their billions. surely they are just a very late casualty of the dot.com bubble?

lak (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624819)

lak lak lak

acceptable use policy (5, Informative)

Carbon Unit 549 (325547) | about 11 years ago | (#6624831)

Their acceptable use policy defeats the purpose of the haven?!

HavenCo said on Monday that its acceptable use policy "stands as originally written. However it is the case that principality law forbids any act...which is against international law, linked with terrorism, or contrary to international custom and practice. These restrictions are in keeping with those found in any country."

That bold bit pretty much covers everything.

Bad Publicity? (5, Interesting)

StickMang (568987) | about 11 years ago | (#6624847)

From the article:
Tan was prepared to pay HavenCo millions of dollars to host a Web site that would let customers stream movies from legally purchased DVDs, something that was not clearly illegal because only one customer at a time could view each stream, Lackey said. The Sealand royal family balked over the possibility of bad publicity, Lackey said. "I decided as soon as I got out of the meeting that I was going to quit," Lackey said.

No wonder they're going under. They're HavenCo, they should be hosting these types of sites. They turn down hosting sites like this that seem almost custom fitted to their business model! The king of sealand must be a quirky fellow indeed.

Re:Bad Publicity? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624894)

It's more likely that the king of Sealand is just exercising good sense. It has been noted more than once that Sealand has no real standing as an independent principality and that the British could take it over in a second if they decided that it was worth the trouble. I think the "king" knows this and is trying to maintain a low profile, probably moreso since 9/11.

Re:Bad Publicity? (1)

aliens (90441) | about 11 years ago | (#6624917)

We're talking Streaming video here, not streaming terrorists instructions. 9/11 is a moot point to this.

Re:Bad Publicity? (2, Insightful)

AndroidCat (229562) | about 11 years ago | (#6625067)

It reminds me of the end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail when King Arthur and his knights were suddenly arrested and then the camera straight-armed. The End.

Sealand's soverenty will last only until they cross over a line. And the line has shifted a lot closer since 9/11, Afganistan and Iraq. He's certainly no terrorist, but if he annoys someone or some company, they just have to get a court order and send the police over to arrest him. The British love an excentric, but that only goes so far.

Re:Bad Publicity? (4, Funny)

dasmegabyte (267018) | about 11 years ago | (#6624896)

Does "quirky fellow" mean "complete idiot?"

Now I feel really insulted. I'm always getting called quirky!

A successful site hosted at HavenCo/Sealand (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624859)

The GoldCasino [thegoldcasino.com] has been there for a long time. They used to have comm link problems from time to time, but over about the last 6 months or so seem to be pretty reliable - so maybe the current execs are right and Lackey is not?
MultiPlayer Poker at TGC is a great time consumer!

NICE REFFERER LINK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625007)


good to see lamers are not dead yet, see you in my inbox sucker !

Re:A successful site hosted at HavenCo/Sealand (0)

cameronsto (553364) | about 11 years ago | (#6625250)

How do you know this?

no solution to legal responsibilities (4, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | about 11 years ago | (#6624863)

The "gimmick" for this business was that they could host sites outside of one's own country, thus protecting one from legal liability for the content. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it demonstrated that the legal responsibility for content on a web site lies with the site's owner, not the hosting provider, and thus the owner would be held responsible under the laws of the country where he lived?

Re:no solution to legal responsibilities (3, Interesting)

Kubla Khan (36312) | about 11 years ago | (#6624930)

They prefer not to know who you are, they advise you use anonymous remailers to contact them, and various difficult to trace means of payment. If they dont know who you are, then how does the goverment of your country even know if you are one of their citizens? They also promise that they will not turn over your data(or did the 'kings' remarks seem to call that into question), and in the event of an armed attack on the platform they drop your disks into a vat of acid and turn over the rest of the box.

Re:no solution to legal responsibilities (2, Interesting)

wfberg (24378) | about 11 years ago | (#6625234)

You're subject to the laws of who ever can get at you. For example, some of the United States have "long arm statutes" that determine that if your "crime" has effect in a certain State, you're criminally liable in that State. Recently, a lot of people have been extradited from The Netherlands for crimes commited *in* The Netherlands, where you'd expect The Netherlands has complete jurisdiction. But owing to long arm statutes they were deported anyway, since how to interpret those statutes is up to a US judge, according to the extradition treaties.

To add insult to injury, evidence was collected against these people in a manner that would normally be illegal (entrapment etc.) but since it was done by "liason officers" of the US embassy, which have diplomatic immunity, and the US constitution (i.e. 4 amendmend etc.) do NOT apply in The Netherlands (while criminal statutes DO) they are totally fucked.

Usually these people succumb to some hefty offer from the US "diplomats" to produce and sell to the "diplomats" some synthetic drugs, and are then deported to the US, where they do NOT get their day in court, but rather take a plea bargain offer, and then rot away in US jails for a few years. (They are rarely allowed to sit out their sentences in Dutch jails, even though the US has agreed to this in the extradition treaty; but you see, the judiciary isn't bound to that treaty, because judges decide what the law is in the first place..)

In other words; you're fucked in any jurisdiction, because there will always be a country you will be deported to even if you're not doing anything illegal at that time and in that jurisdiction.

Business and lunatics (5, Funny)

duffbeer703 (177751) | about 11 years ago | (#6624875)

Who in the hell is going to do business with some lunatic who fancies himself as the "Prince" of a gun platform?

Re:Business and lunatics (4, Funny)

mr_luc (413048) | about 11 years ago | (#6625079)

That is a very funny question, and I have to think that the only business that could consider it seriously would be a casino. That kind of flashiness would seem to fit right in. I can hear the TV ads now:

"Wanna know just how Exciting our Online Gambling Site is? OUR site is hosted on a rusting gun tower 6 miles off of the coast of England, run by a man that claims it as his own sovereign nation. That's right -- this gambling site is hosted out of a basketball-court-sized country called Sealand!"
"Reliability? Security? Just remember that all of your financial transactions are subject to the whims of a man that fancies himself a king!"

I like those odds.

All about the price (5, Informative)

mcgroarty (633843) | about 11 years ago | (#6624885)

I wanted to host there, but a low-end box on a trickling 64kbit line was $500/month!

They really need to offer lower rates to fill those racks up a bit more, save the novelty premiums for those last slots.

Re:All about the price (1)

dr_dank (472072) | about 11 years ago | (#6625186)

I wanted to host there, but a low-end box on a trickling 64kbit line was $500/month!

Not only that, but they made you buy your server from them at rather high prices.

They wouldn't accept servers shipped to them like other colos do as they could contain bombs, listening devices, killer robots, etc...

SARS (4, Funny)

gr8_phk (621180) | about 11 years ago | (#6624887)

Oh, and 9/11, of course.

But what about SARS? Blaming 9/11 is old-school.

Re:SARS (-1, Offtopic)

Alan Partridge (516639) | about 11 years ago | (#6624937)

I never understood what it was that was supposed to have happened on the 9th of November anyway!

Re:SARS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625276)

Haha... stupid European.

Ruling requested..... (4, Interesting)

Darth_brooks (180756) | about 11 years ago | (#6624890)

Although its legal status is unclear, Sealand lies within the territorial boundary of 10 miles claimed by England.

It's legal status was determined a long time ago. here [seanhastings.com] is a good place to start.


"On October 1st, 1987, Britain extended its territorial waters from 3 to 12 nautical miles. At nearly the same time, Prince Roy declared the extension of Sealand's territorial waters to be a like 12 nautical miles, so that right of way from the open sea to Sealand would not be blocked by British claimed waters. No treaty has been signed between Britain 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 Sealand's sovereignty was safely "grandfathered" in. Britain has no more right to Sealand's territory than Sealand has to the territory of the British coastline that falls within its claimed 12 nautical mile arc."

Since sealand was outside the initial 3 mile border when it was first claimed, England cannot claim sealand for itself. It would be similar to the United States attempting to annex Cuba by extending the border a further 90 miles south.

"Some nations might have tried to use this as an excuse to try to claim all of the territory of the weaker and not well recognized nation regardless of international law, however, this has not been the case. Britain has made no attempt to take Sealand, and the British government still treats it as an independent State. Prince Roy continues to pay no British National Insurance during the time he resides on Sealand subsequent to a ruling by the British Department of Health and Social Security's solicitors branch. Also, there was another fire arms incident in 1990 when a ship strayed too near Sealand and warning shots were again fired. The ship's crew made complaints to British authorities and a newspaper article ran detailing the incident. Yet despite Britain's severe prohibition of firearms, British authorities have never pursued the matter. This is a clear indication that Britain's Home Office still considers Sealand to be outside their zone of control."

Re:Ruling requested..... (2, Interesting)

Shimbo (100005) | about 11 years ago | (#6625102)

It's legal status was determined a long time ago

In their imagination maybe. Until it gets a seat at the UN, or is even recognised by a single real country it remains a joke.

Re:Ruling requested..... (2, Insightful)

AndroidCat (229562) | about 11 years ago | (#6625165)

That's all very nice, but it makes the assumption that it had any soverenty to start with--especially when it's not even an island. Not even an artificial island built with land-fill.

Re:Ruling requested..... (1)

mr_luc (413048) | about 11 years ago | (#6625173)

Right, but when push comes to shove, 'Justice' goes out the window.

In this case, I think the official stance of Britain is that Sealand is a man-constructed object -- and as such, must be covered by the same laws as the only other man-constructed objects to ply the seas. (boats)

Is that somewhat ludicrous -- yes. But that's the way the chips would fall if push came to shove. They would rule that a man-created object CANNOT be it's own sovereign nation, regardless of how silly or arbitrary that sounds.

Britain doesn't do anything about Sealand mostly because it's such a small, harmless band of kooks, partly because of the unjustified hassle over who should deal with it and how long that would take, partly because the general public tends to side heavily with the romanticism that this situation conjurs up, and to a much, much, much, much lesser extent, because there is legal validity to their claim.

The bottom line is, though, that as soon as they stop being harmless kooks and start bringing ANY pressure whatsoever to bear against themselves, they go down. I mean, if worst came to absolute worst, the cheapest way for Britain to resolve this whole thing would be to send in the Commandos and take over the 'country'. Nobody fucks with the Commandos. (That's my American romanticism, probably, but it seems like the commandos are, in fact, 'the shit').

I need some pie now.

Help your friends at Sealand! (5, Funny)

mblase (200735) | about 11 years ago | (#6624892)

They're short on money, but I'm sure someone would be willing to send them a few million to keep afloat.

They're just another victim of the dot-com fallout, really. Yet another company that completely missed the boat.

I mean, their business directors must really be lost at sea as to how to resolve these problems.

Perhaps they'd succeed with a new software strategy? Say, pier-to-pier filesharing?

Oh, I kill me....

Re:Help your friends at Sealand! (2, Funny)

Zak3056 (69287) | about 11 years ago | (#6625051)

Oh, I kill me....

I hope you finish that particular task soon, the puns are killing me!

Stuff that matters ??? (-1, Flamebait)

borgdows (599861) | about 11 years ago | (#6624944)

Who the hell is HavenCo ??

I dont know (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6624961)

It's true.

Re:I dont know (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625017)

me too :-/

BTW how can mods mod grandparent flamebait??

Could I Get a Bunch of My Red-Neck Cousins.... (3, Funny)

bayers (155001) | about 11 years ago | (#6624990)

get them liquored up and invade Sealand?

What would happen?

Re:Could I Get a Bunch of My Red-Neck Cousins.... (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | about 11 years ago | (#6625126)

They'd all end up gangbanging the smallest man on the boat?

Re:Could I Get a Bunch of My Red-Neck Cousins.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625144)

You'd probably be in violation of international law and then the British will give the Bush administration "proof" that you are trying to buy nukes, thus prompting Bush to send the marines in to make you dead.

New place for libertopia? (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | about 11 years ago | (#6624998)

Where do geeks go now for libertopia? Maybe an Aleutian island they can buy? Isn't it sad that every land mass is claimed by some country...why not just let one be a libertopia??? That's how it started.

Re:New place for libertopia? (3, Informative)

nat5an (558057) | about 11 years ago | (#6625253)

At last count, I believe Indonesia had 11,000 islands, some 7000 of which are uninhabited. I remember reading recently that they just "discovered" 1000 more islands that they didn't know were part of their country. My advice -- go to south east Asia and find an undiscovered island.

God its small (3, Interesting)

isorox (205688) | about 11 years ago | (#6625063)

Every time I fly over the Thames Estuary I look out for sealand, I've never seen it. Does anyone know if it really exists?

That isn't right... (1)

aking137 (266199) | about 11 years ago | (#6625087)

Can't be...

From this article [krev.org] : "LONDON (Reuters) -- Microsoft, the world's largest software company, announced today that it will move its headquarters to the world's smallest nation, the Principality of Sealand." ... "According to a company spokesman, in order to escape the Justice Department's breakup, the software giant will legally move its headquarters to the tiny offshore jurisdiction, though the actual staff will remain in Redmond, WA, because space is at a premium on the tiny platform a few miles outside of British territorial waters in the English Channel."

Re:That isn't right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6625175)

in order to escape the Justice Department's breakup,

What breakup? The DOJ sucks Bill's dick whenever he tells them to.

What a way to kill a career (1)

Fjord (99230) | about 11 years ago | (#6625151)

If I were a CEO, I'd just jump all over the opportunity to hire a CTO that blabs company laundry to the press after they leave.

In bizarro land.
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