2007-01-12

Buying a Micronation

PirateBay hopes to purchase Sealand to shield itself from copyright law enforcement. I predict that even if they raised sufficient capital to purchase this currently independent nation, political forces in militarily aggressive empires such as the US and UK would eventually shut them down if only by cutting their Internet connexion. While international copyright laws are severely flawed, these nations would nonetheless have some justification for their action against a cyber-criminal rogue nation of Sealand.

This is reminiscent of Earthstation 5's fraudulent claim to operate out of Palestine to avoid copyright law.

I suggest that in the near future world when high-speed satellite Internet will be available in one's wristwatch everywhere, there is no stopping the flow of information between interested parties. Even absent the wristwatches, the technology for encrypted distributed proxied networks already sufficiently exists for data exchange without Sealand.

Lastly, the idea of purchasing a nation or even creating wealthy bustling nations out of nothing but large fortunes and dirt a la mode de Dubai will become more and more common, especially for special interest groups seeking independence and freedom from persecution just as originally occurred with the colonisation of the New World. The power of Internet communication makes citizenship, political participation, and "nation building" much more accessible to everyone especially the geographically dispersed.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I remember Earthstation 5, and I did not know that their claim to operate out of Palestine was in fact fradulent. I could never get their software to work properly though (although I did only try briefly in 2003 when I had access to someone else's high speed internet).

The idea of micronations is interesting, but as you mention they can only be successful to a certain degree. Such entities as Sealand are not recognized by any other state, and therefore lie wide open to attack and piracy. Recognized statelets like Monaco enjoy some freedom from restrictions, but once again mostly enjoy these freedoms at the whim of their larger neighbors. Dubai offers a slightly different vision: it is essentially a free zone within a larger country. Such areas of freedom within larger entities might offer the best chances for free zones of information. It is an ongoing experiment.