- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
As an fan of geopolitical anomalies, I was excited to see this Mashable item suggesting that WikiLeaks might move its servers to the Principality of Sealand, the 6,000 square foot former British military installation in the North Sea that since 1968 has been "ruled" as a sovereign nation by the highly entertaining Prince Roy Bates and his family. Unfortunately, the Fox News story the item is based on seems purely speculative. And a Sealand URL still wouldn’t protect any of WikiLeaks’ operators from prosecution.
But, as Mashable notes, this isn’t the first time Sealand has been discussed as a possible data haven:
Sealand did house the data hosting company HavenCo between 2000 and 2008, before operations ceased for unknown reasons. In 2008, according to Security and the Net, the file-sharing site PirateBay campaigned for donations to purchase Sealand and live in a “copyright-free nation.”
In other news, Sealand is currently "in talks" about forming a national rugby team. It must be a pain to get the ball back if it goes out of bounds.