Investors for WikiLeaks are reportedly in the process of purchasing a boat that would be used to move the site’s servers offshore in an attempt to avoid prosecution from law enforcement in the United States. Multiple sources within the hacking community have told FoxNews.com that those backing founder Julian Assange have been working behind the scenes to move the servers to international waters where they would fall under maritime law.
According to the report, once you are a certain distance away from land, you’re then dealing with maritime law. Assange has been under the microscope of US law enforcement after WikiLeaks released classified military and State Department files.
FoxNews.com points to one possible location known as the Principality of Sealand, described as a rusty, World War II-era, former anti-aircraft platform off the coast of England in the North Sea. A 1968 court ruling proclaimed that this area was outside of the jurisdiction of the UK which, although not a boat, could provide a potential safe haven for Assange and company.
Sealand played host to HavenCo, an anything-goes Internet host, until 2008. Self-appointed Prince Michael Bates told FoxNews via email that the location is currently hosting another company’s websites via satellite and Wi-Fi connections, although these claims weren’t able to be verified.
But there are some, however, that believe a server move alone wouldn’t garner the desired outcome. Jim Dempsey, vice president for public policy with the Washington, D.C., think tank Center for Democracy and Technology, said that moving the servers offshore wouldn’t do any good unless the people running WikiLeaks also relocated offshore.
“Where the data resides isn’t what determines jurisdiction,” Dempsey said. “You prosecute real people, you don’t prosecute servers. So if the WikiLeaks people want to live on a platform in the North Sea and educate their children there ... for people who have lives, that doesn’t make sense.”