The Pirate Bay Wants Data Haven On Sealand

The idea of a data haven was established by science fiction author Bruce Sterling in his 1988 novel Islands in the Net.

Thousands of legitimate companies maintained dossiers on individuals: employee records, medical histories, credit transactions. In the Net economies, business was impossible without such information. In the legitimate world, companies purged this information periodically, as required by law.

But not all of it was purged. Reams of it ended up in the data havens...
(Read more about data havens)

Sealand is a rusting hulk of a man-made island located ten kilometers off the coast of Suffolk, England. The total area of the country of Sealand is 5,290 square feet; its sovereignty has never been acknowledged by England, since it sits within its territorial waters.


(Sealand the would-be data haven)

However, the family of Paddy Roy Bates has occupied the structure since 1967, and they claim it as their own. Roy of Sealand is now negotiating with Swedish intellectual property reform group The Pirate Bay to sell the structure as an independent country from which The Pirate Bay can maintain an off-shore data haven that would be exempt from all of the worlds copyright and privacy laws.

You could argue that this has been tried already, since HavenCo Ltd. has operated a data hosting services company from Sealand since 2000. However, disputes between the Bates family and one of its members, Michael Bates (aka Prince Michael of Sealand) have plagued operations of HavenCo since 2002. The Pirate Bay, apparently, is hoping for a fresh start and more rigorous data pirating. The Pirate Bay has launched a donation drive to purchase Sealand; anyone who contributes gets citizenship in the new nation.

The Pirate Bay is still smarting over raids conducted on its servers by Swedish police in May of 2006.

Read more about The Pirate Bay hopes to buy its own country: Sealand, The Pirate Bay and Sealand. Thanks to Ja Thavia for the pointer on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/15/2007)

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