Many interesting issues are raised in the scenario contemplated in a recent Fox News Exclusive titled, “WikiLeaks to move servers offshore, sources say.” Â I am interested since I am quoted numerous times about international law issues; but regardless, this topic could raise some interesting discussion.
The issue is similar to the concept of Sealand, the man-made platform off the coast of England whose owners claim it belongs to no nation and they are their own sovereign territory.Â At one time Havenco placed a server farm on Sealand and offered server space.Â The only restriction in the terms of service was no child porn.Â Anyone could rent server space and keep anything, other than child porn, on the servers regardless of the dataâ€™s legality, e.g. copyrighted material, terrorist info, data related to various criminal activity such as stolen info, money laundering, etc.Â It seems the server farm went out of business at some point in the early 2000’s, but that is not confirmed.
Placing servers in international territory, letâ€™s say on a ship in international waters, raises some interesting legal questions, especially international law, when a nation feels it needs to seize or prevent whatever activity is occurring on those servers.Â In some regards this situation may be easier, legally speaking.Â If the server owners claim no law controls their actions, well then, what law can they cite to that would prevent a nation from taking action, especially if the nation believes their national security is threatened?Â If the server owners claim to be citizens of a particular nation then that nation’s laws apply to them and they may potentially be captured and extradited, or just snatched up out of international waters by the offended nation.Â It gets trickier when you have a nation that has no laws to criminalize the activity.Â This was the case with the creator of the “I Love You” virus.Â The Philippines could not prosecute since they had no law criminalizing the activity.
Many very interesting issues to consider and discuss.Â Anyway, here is a link to the Fox News article:Â Â “WikiLeaks to move servers offshore, sources say”.Â Enjoy and I would love to hear your comments.