Sunday, 1 April 2012


Given the timing, I was not quite certain whether this story was the April Fools’ Day feature—however that does not matter since this proposal and profile covered by Spiegel is a priceless opportunity to day-dream, not primarily of a cyber-utopia, a safe haven for internet freedom-fighters, but rather, gleaned from the background, a chance for independence and self-governance, albeit in small ways. Certain groups, like Pirate Bay and Wikileaks—in the midst of other daydreaming transformed into reality about servers and hosts deployed in mobile drones or on tankers on the high-seas, are interested in establishing a bank of computers, repositories on the tiny Principality of Sealand, a micronation (DE/EN) founded several decades ago on an abandoned anti-aircraft platform in the North Sea.
Despite legal-limbo and lack of recognition by other sovereigns, the place does enjoy quasi-state-like status, with no taxes levied and little outside interferences. Apparently the regnant was convinced into taking on a similar venture with internet hosting that ended in 2008, but now, through the lens of recent developments in policies threatening an open internet, people are again seriously entertaining the scheme. Sealand issues Cinderella stamps, currency, passports and titles of nobility and the principality really seems to have charted out an impressive model dominion with an advanced and diplomatically sufficient government, compared to other entities whose existence is mainly virtual. Given the tenor and timbre of politics and zealots which has always driven some to find a niche free from it all, I just hope that providing sanctuary does not create too much negative attention and bring the wrath of its larger neighbours down on this peaceable kingdom. PfRC would of course establish diplomatic-relations.