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Has HavenCo's Data Haven Shut Down? 287

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the where-will-i-keep-my-secrets-now dept.
secmartin writes "HavenCo, the self-proclaimed data haven located on the micronation Sealand, appears to be offline. Their website is down, and there have been no announcements from either HavenCo or Sealand. HavenCo has been covered here before; it was mostly known for offering hosting of content that might be illegal in other countries. Does anyone have news about what happened to them?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Has HavenCo's Data Haven Shut Down?

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  • Sea Boundaries (Score:3, Interesting)

    by telchine (719345) on Monday November 24, 2008 @08:39AM (#25872021)

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

    • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:5, Informative)

      by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday November 24, 2008 @08:43AM (#25872045) Homepage Journal

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

      • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ultranova (717540) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:38AM (#25872411)

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

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

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

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

        • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:5, Interesting)

          by nog_lorp (896553) * on Monday November 24, 2008 @10:00AM (#25872665)

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

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

          • by jeffmeden (135043) on Monday November 24, 2008 @10:55AM (#25873325) Homepage Journal

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

            • by nog_lorp (896553) *

              Funny, but silly. The individual in question was a British citizen, and charges were levelled against him by British authorities. It was in this capacity that the ruling was made.

        • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:5, Insightful)

          by malkavian (9512) on Monday November 24, 2008 @10:05AM (#25872713) Homepage

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

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

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

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

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

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

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by paganizer (566360)

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

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dirtyhippie (259852)

            That's a facile analogy. If England were to expand its borders in to France, the entire continent would rally to the French side. If they were to annex Sealand tomorrow (or if they have today), no one would blink. To suggest otherwise is idiocy. The instant Sealand has something Britain wants, it will cease to exist. It's a bloody slab of concrete after all, the "native" population of which were British citizens before their "partiarch" went a bit batty.

            Don't get me wrong, I wish I could make up my own laws

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

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

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

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

          Martin

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

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

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by NekSnappa (803141)
              Well the beauty of municipal level government is that there is a good chance that the mayor does run a furniture store.
          • by jeffmeden (135043) on Monday November 24, 2008 @10:59AM (#25873369) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cowmonaut (989226)

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

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

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

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

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

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

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

            What about Iraq?

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

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

              • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:4, Interesting)

                by nabsltd (1313397) on Monday November 24, 2008 @10:47AM (#25873253)

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

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

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

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

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

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

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by erikdalen (99500)

                What about Vietnam then?

                But I agree they probably wouldn't be able to repeat that feat today.

          • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:5, Informative)

            by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday November 24, 2008 @11:39AM (#25873919) Journal

            The Isle of Man is NOT sovereign (I live there). We may issue our own passports; I travel with an Isle of Man passport - but the island is still a British crown territory even though it is not in or part of the UK.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

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

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

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by paganizer (566360)

            I'm pretty certain the Vatican could take out the Italian government.
            Armed Forces: The Swiss Guard. 1 reinforced company of Swiss Heavy Infantry. One could assume they could expand this force relatively quickly under emergency conditions, and the swiss military man-for-man scores extremely high on QJM. Hitler was polite to the Swiss, and it wasn't just because they laundered money for him.
            There are also several Military Orders of the church; Knights of Malta, Sepulcher, Saint George. Purely ceremonial, but

            • by greenguy (162630)

              Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to buy your novel.

            • by Shin-LaC (1333529)
              I don't know where you got the idea that the Swiss are an army of Chuck Norris clones, but the Swiss Guard has been defeated by Italian forces before; notably, when Italy conquered the majority of the Papal states, and then Rome, leaving only what became today's Vatican.

              However, there are real reasons why it would be difficult to invade the Vatican. One, the majority of the Italian population is Catholic, and would oppose such a move. This makes it a non-starter under the current democratic government, na
          • Strictly speaking the Vatican has no chance in hell of fighting off Great Britian

            Well technically they have the Pontifical Swiss Guard that protects them, and it is presumed that God is on their side...

            As for the Swiss, we've seen how advance their pocket knives are, and we don't want to know what other advance weaponry that may have !

            But seriously, Sovereignty is established by international treaty and are usually enforced by allied nations (or nations designated within the treaty).

        • by zarkill (1100367)
          As others have mentioned, by that logic you could say NO small country is sovereign, because they would never be able to repel an invasion from a larger neighbor. But what they CAN gain by referencing court decisions by their larger neighbors is legitimacy in the international community. When you are recognized as legitimate by the international community, you don't have to be worried about your larger neighbors invading you, because you would have that international community backing you up. Even the Uni
        • by qoncept (599709)
          That may be going a bit far. You're saying any country that couldn't resist an invasion isn't sovereign? Do we need to have a deathmatch to determine which one country is the one that really is sovereign?

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

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

          We were planning on taking Sealand over at some point. Inflatable boat, cooler full of bee
          • by Bert64 (520050)

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

        • by pdboddy (620164)
          They are sovereign. GB lost the case against them, and reinforced that ruling when they declined to intercede as requested by Germany and Denmark during an incident on Sealand.

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

          Following your statement: As such, the test of sovereignty is quite simple: can you fight off any attempt to deny your sovereignt
        • As such, the test of sovereignty is quite simple: can you fight off any attempt to deny your sovereignty ? If yes, you're sovereign; if not, you're not.

          Typical American attitude. Guns, guns, guns. Might makes right. I've got news for you. Most countries cannot fight off an attempt to deny their sovereignty: Chad, Bangladesh, Peru, Belize, New Zealand, Canada, Laos, Poland, Luxembourg, Cuba, Japan, Jamaica, Mexico, Argentina, Liberia, Denmark, Qatar, and many, many more. In fact, only a very small n
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ultranova (717540)

            Typical American attitude.

            I'm Finnish. My "attitude" is based on dictionary definition of sovereignty, as well as the history of my homeland - it's located right next to Russia, and until the dissolution of Soviet Union was pretty much forced to seek Moscow's approval for political decisions, least it be invaded. That means it wasn't fully sovereign.

            Guns, guns, guns.

            Yes. And bombs, cannons and nukes.

            Might makes right.

            No, it makes you sovereign. Right has nothing to do with it.

            In fact, only a very small n

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Graham Clark (11925)

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

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

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Joebert (946227)
          That's like saying the US Government shouldn't have provided disaster relief to New Orleans because it was man made, or that citizens of some southern Floridian cities aren't subject to taxes because they live on sand that was pumped in to a swamp.
          • No, it isn't. Those places are soggy, but they're land, and states are defined as being particular patches of land.

            If there's no land, there's no state.

            • by Joebert (946227)
              If you look up the definition of land on Google, the majority of the definitions you'll find would support Sealand as being a piece of land before they would support the swamps of New Orleans and sout Florida.
              • Err . . . no.

                Roughs Tower's a metal structure sitting on a sandbank, rather than a mass of rock, sand or earth. It's not land by any reasonable definition. Marsh and swamp have always been considered land rather than sea. Much of the land near Roughs Tower is very marshy, but it's never been considered a sea area - no state or law that I'm aware of considers their land extent to exclude marshes.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by cayenne8 (626475)
            "That's like saying the US Government shouldn't have provided disaster relief to New Orleans because it was man made..."

            Err...that's not exactly right. New Orleans is NOT man made. It has existed long before the US was a country, and I kinda doubt they could man make a city out of nothing back then.

            Actually, when I got back from Katrina...they had an interesting set of maps in the newspaper. They showed the areas of New Orleans that did not flood (the whole city didn't go under, some areas were bone dry)

      • It didn't count as a country then either, so it had no rights that could be "grandfathered in" and no jurisdiction that could clash with that of the British government.

        Anyone can declare themselves independent, but to be recognised as such you need to have some territory that's separate from other countries, and that fort has never been recognised as such territory by anyone else.

      • Sovereignty is tested in battle not in court. The UK could destroy sealand at any time should it become bothersome or refuse to cooperate.
    • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Linker3000 (626634) on Monday November 24, 2008 @08:45AM (#25872047) Journal

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

      From the Sealand Web site...

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

      • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:5, Interesting)

        by secmartin (1336705) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:02AM (#25872153)
        A British court even ruled that Sealand was outside its jurisdiction [seanhastings.com] in 1968; so according to international law, the "grandfathered in" approach might work. But since there are at most a dozen people on the platform, and no other country has recognized them, I bet the entire platform might just be used for target practice by several navy's if they are ever found to host terrorist websites...
        • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:5, Informative)

          by theaveng (1243528) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:18AM (#25872219)

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

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

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

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

          • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:4, Interesting)

            by newrisejohn (517586) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:45AM (#25872497)

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

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

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

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pjt33 (739471)

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

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

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by viridari (1138635)
            I used to do a lot of boating/fishing in the Delaware river near where you speak. I find it laughable that Delaware was acting out of environmental concern. The Delaware bank of the Delaware River is the most filthy industrial wasteland for miles around. New Jersey and Pennsylvania also have some industrial development upstream, including oil refineries on the Jersey side, the Delaware stretch of the river is a real armpit.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by halcyon1234 (834388)

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

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

              • by viridari (1138635)
                I would never eat anything that I caught there. That said, the channel catfish and striped bass action was amazing. Strictly catch and release.
          • by NekSnappa (803141)

            There have been similar disputes between Maryland and Virginia over the Potomac River.

            Va. wanted to extend intake pipes for drinking water far enough into the Potomac that it reached into Md's waters.

            I'm not quite sure who wants drinking water from that river anyway.

        • by Pikiwedia.net (1392595) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:59AM (#25872653) Homepage
          That's why Sealand needs nuclear weapons, prefarrably deployed in several nuclear subs spread out around the oceans. Actually, I can hardly think of any nation with a greater need for nuclear weapons than Sealand. No army, not recognized my other states. Mutally assured destruction is their only way to truly uphold their souvereignity.
      • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:5, Interesting)

        by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:09AM (#25872189) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

        • Re:Sea Boundaries (Score:4, Informative)

          by Nursie (632944) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:20AM (#25872235)

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

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

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

        • by Kjella (173770)

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

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

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

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Jane_Dozey (759010)

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

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

  • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Monday November 24, 2008 @08:42AM (#25872039)
    We're in the midst of a global economic crisis, you know?? Maintaining an offshore host must be quite expensive, especially if there's no local infrastructure to maintain such service.
    • by cshotton (46965) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:10AM (#25872191) Homepage
      Anyone who followed the photo essay about the fire on Sealand a few years ago would recognize that Sealand is little more than a fantasy/hobby of a couple of nut jobs trying to scam some income out of a rusty hulk. No reliable power source, no easy transport, not potable water, no permanent residents. It is a investor funded camping expedition with the occasional porn video streamed over a slow-ass satellite connection. It is not, nor was it ever, a viable "offshore hosting facility". And after they burned up the generators and half of the platform, it's really not even habitable now. So no surprise that the royalty has likely departed to points closer to the mailboxes holding their dole checks.
      • by cshotton (46965) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:14AM (#25872199) Homepage
        Pics of the fire. [bobleroi.co.uk] Not a place I'd base my business computer infrastructure...
        • After reading the discussion here, I was about to take sides with Sealand until I noticed your pictures... then thought... that's SeaLAND??!?! Can someone please find me the piece of dirt/earth that it occupies? I thought part of being a nation required land... so now if I were to make a small outpost far in the water it would be my own "country"? Then perhaps I could join the UN, then try and take over the world...
      • no potable water

        It's the North Sea, off England and Scotland. Want potable water, instantly, any time of the year? Open your mouth and tilt your head skywards. Problem solved.

        The North Sea has severe rainstorms than anywhere else on Earth. It rains and howls a gale almost constantly.

        Far more likely, is the problem of too much fresh rainwater causing the roof, of whatever you're trying to shelter under, to collapse. A good drainage system and rainwater butt is more likely to be an engineering necessity than

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 24, 2008 @08:51AM (#25872087)

    Slashdotted.

  • Nothing more than the end of an unsuccessful fad.
  • should really consider setting up a real "free speech" server zone should Sealand be offline. I don't like everything on the Internet, but 99.999999% of what I find objectionable shouldn't be illegal either. Still countries, in general, make the silliest things illegal. Child porn is one thing, and that is reprehensible, but simply criticizing the state?
    • by theaveng (1243528)

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

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

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

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

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

    • "Child porn is one thing, and that is reprehensible"

      It is disturbing that someone can make such a bold statement about something which they have never seen. How can anyone form a conclusive opinion about child pornography when their only source of information is the mainstream media and government-sponsored advocacy organisations such as the NCMEC?

      I and three other people have compiled a list of quotes about the nature of child pornography, here [newgon.com].

  • Well, (Score:4, Funny)

    by Skiron (735617) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:01AM (#25872149) Homepage

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

  • by jsse (254124) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:16AM (#25872215) Homepage Journal
    This presentation [securityandthe.net] outlined a brief history of the deal between HavenCo and Sealand.

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

    Aaah. "Thames Coastguard, Harwich RNLI lifeboat, Felixstowe Coastguard rescue teams, firefighting tug Brightwell, the RAF rescue helicopter from Wattisham and 15 Suffolk based firefighters from the National Maritime Incident Response Group (MIRG) were all called into action to tackle the blaze"
    • by genner (694963)
      That was all foreign aid of course.
    • by Ardeaem (625311) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:40AM (#25872429)
      So, rendering humanitarian aid gives you jurisdiction over an area? Your title combined with your quote seems to imply that you believe that, but I know many countries who would dispute that claim.
      • "So, rendering humanitarian aid gives you jurisdiction over an area?"

        actually, yes it does. you are assuming that under normal circumstances, the aid given would have been provided via some other means, that some other capacity existed to render that aid

        so the uk renders assistance to a peruvian freighter in the english channel, or to a french island in the english channel when french aid is otherwise occupied or too far away, then the uk does not get to own that freighter or that island

        but you are talking

  • by hairykrishna (740240) on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:21AM (#25872241)
    They talked a good game and had 'coolness factor' going for them but that was about it. I don't think they had all that many clients really. What were their advantages? They didn't offer anything over a normal provider. You couldn't host anything really inflamatory (i.e. normally illegal) there because you'd just get their link cut.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Linker3000 (626634)

      "You couldn't host anything really inflamatory"

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

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

      The point of the place was largely that you could host material that was normally illegal or (more to the point for businesses) would have been taxable if it had been

  • by SteveFoerster (136027) <steve AT stevefoerster DOT com> on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:28AM (#25872303) Homepage

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

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

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

    • by billstewart (78916) on Monday November 24, 2008 @11:11AM (#25873569) Journal

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

    • by evilandi (2800)

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

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

      On the plus side, access to drinking water is easy. Open your mouth and tilt your head skywards, you should get a mouthful of fre

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

  • "Real" priates probably raided them and stole their equipment.
  • by rdl (4744) <ryan&venona,com> on Monday November 24, 2008 @09:10PM (#25880499) Homepage

    HavenCo moved all customer servers to London sometime after I left, in 2003. Supporting evidence for this, besides traceroutes, is that the big fire, which destroyed generators and other equipment on sealand, did not affect the servers at all. Either you believe they had enough UPS capacity to ride out a multi-month power outage, or ...

    (the 1ms pingtimes from routers in London is also a good sign...)

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