WikiLeaks Appeals To Maritime Law?
2012 02 01

By Elizabeth Leafloor | RedIceCreations.com

In a bid to keep its servers out of the hands of global jurisdictions and evade prosecution, WikiLeaks has been allegedly reported as looking into ways to relocate the servers to offshore data centres.

Wikileaks’ servers have been based in many different countries such as France, Iceland and Sweden, and while the authorities have been so far unable to shut them down permanently, obviously they’re a prime target in the seemingly global fight against WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange.

In an ’exclusive’ by Fox News , unnamed sources "within the hacker community" suggest:

"...Assange’s financial backers have been working behind the scenes on the logistics of moving the servers to international waters.

"Then they can keep running WikiLeaks and nobody can touch them,” one source told FoxNews.com. “If you get a certain distance away from any land, then you’re dealing with maritime law ... They can’t prosecute him under maritime law. He’s safe. He’s not an idiot, he’s actually very smart."



FoxNews suggests a likely location may be the Principality of Sealand.

"... a rusty, World War II-era, former anti-aircraft platform off the coast of England in the North Sea. Based on a 1968 British court ruling that the facility is outside the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, Sealand’s owner has declared the facility a sovereign state, or “micro-nation.”



Prince Michael Bates of Sealand stands atop the helipad on his World War II era "micronation" -- a possible future location for Wikileaks’ servers.
Image: Source: FOXNEWS.com

And while this move has been unconfirmed, it has been widely suspected that housing the servers in international waters will legally keep global authority’s hands off the sensitive information, and keep it online.
However, the legality of this manoeuvre has yet to be tested, and will probably become a bureaucratic and diplomatic nightmare, which may prove out to be no protection in the slightest.

Jim Dempsey, vice president for public policy with the Washington, D.C., think tank Center for Democracy and Technology, said moving WikiLeaks’ servers to Sealand wouldn’t matter -- unless the people behind WikiLeaks moved themselves.

“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.”


Dempsey makes a valid point about the feasibility of the alleged plan, but also warns, chillingly, that when you try to play outside the rules, the game becomes a free-for-all:

“Once you put yourself outside the realm of law, then you’re outside the realm of law, rules on search warrants and excessive force and all that -- the reach of the Constitution -- none of that applies,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey is seemingly willing to interpret constitutional law and how it applies to US citizens in a sweeping manner, which coming from a policy maker in Washington, seems like a dismaying erosion. Follow our laws or you have no human rights?

But, constitutional law and admiralty or maritime law is not as simple as FoxNews or Jim Dempsey make it seem. Maritime law can extend from shore to shore, include continental shelves, and there are ways to classify and encompass vessels and islands, and laws that apply to those structures.

If these allegations are true about WikiLeaks’ servers, it conjures up the events surrounding Radio Caroline.

"Radio Caroline is an English radio station founded in 1964 [...] to circumvent the record companies’ control of popular music broadcasting in the United Kingdom and the BBC’s radio broadcasting monopoly. Unlicensed by any government for most of its early life, it was considered a pirate radio station."
(Wikipedia)


Radio Caroline broadcast from floating ships 5km (3 miles) off the coast of England, just outside British territorial waters.

In 1966 the British Postmaster General, Anthony Wedgwood Benn, introduced a Bill to Parliament that outlawed unlicensed offshore broadcasting. This Bill became the Marine Offences Act and was enacted on 14 August 1967. The two Radio Caroline ships continued to broadcast with operations controlled from the Netherlands. In March 1968, both ships were towed to the Netherlands, because of unpaid bills, by the Wijsmuller tug company.
(Wikipedia)


Floating vessels, like those used by Radio Caroline, must be registered by a country, and as such they come under the laws of that country no matter where the vessel goes. For example, the ships of the GreenPeace fleet have flown flags of many different nations at different times after governments deemed the vessels were involved in inappropriate activities and stripped them of their registration.

Conversely, the Principality of Sealand is fixed to the sea floor, like an island.


The famous royal fort Roughs Tower situated slightly

north of the estuary region of the Thames River. Source: Sealandgov.org


During World War II, the United Kingdom decided to establish a number of military bases, the purpose of which was to defend England against German air raids. These sea forts housed enough troops to man and maintain artillery designed to shoot down German aircraft and missiles. They were situated along the east coast of England on the edge of the English territorial waters.
SeaLandgov.org



Even though it’s on the edge of territorial waters, there is contention as to its international status, no matter what the self-proclaimed "Prince of SeaLand" declares.

While it has been described as the world’s smallest nation,[8] or a micronation,[9] Sealand is not currently officially recognised by any sovereign state. Although Roy Bates claims it is de facto recognised by Germany as they have sent a diplomat to the micronation, and by the United Kingdom after an English court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over Sealand,[6] neither action constitutes de jure recognition as far as the respective countries are concerned.
Wikipedia


In the end, if these allegations regarding WikiLeaks’ servers are true, they will still need a country to work with. They’ll either require satellite communications, or fiber-optic cables to function. And while the US continues to seek extradition of founder Julian Assange, and payments to the pariah organization WikiLeaks are difficult to give through reluctant banks and online transaction-sites like Paypal, the pressure will be on countries to not treat with WikiLeaks, or suffer the consequences.


~E


Reference article:
FoxNews.com : EXCLUSIVE: WikiLeaks to move servers offshore, sources say
FrontPage Image: Source: Google, Source: FoxNews, WikiLeaks Logo, Edited: EL RIC 2012






Also tune into:

Sandy Frost - The Corruption of the Royal Order of Jesters (Admiralty Law)


Mary Croft - Birth, Man, Corporations & Law of the Sea


Michael Coffman - Global Governance


Mary Croft - Natural Man vs. Artificial Person, Law, Money & Banking


John Harris - Illusion, Common and Commercial Law & the Ego


John Harris - Freedom, Government, Love, Thinking & The Internet





Related Articles
Radio Caroline - Wikipedia
Admiralty Law, Maritime Law - Wikipedia
Paypal now cuts off Bradley Manning defense fund
Cyberwar: Hackers target Paypal, VISA, Master Card - Swedish Government Website Hacked Earlier Today
PayPal reinstates account for Bradley Manning fund
New WikiLeaks ’spy files’ show global surveillance industry
WikiLeaks Faces Shut Down
This Is Where the WikiLeaks Servers Are Now (2010)
Wikileaks site at risk due to Assange house arrest
Corporate America vs. Wikileaks (Video)
How Attorney General Holder Colluded With Bank Of America To Destroy Wikileaks And Silence Unfriendly Journalists
Ex-WikiLeaks Spokesman Calls Assange Delusional, Power-Hungry
WikiLeaks picks Iceland base (2010)


Latest News from our Front Page

Kansas City Jewish Community Center shooter: “I was an FBI Informant”
2014 04 24
Kansas City Jewish Community Center shooter: “I was an FBI Informant” …… Which is EXACTLY how we called it when this story broke a few weeks back. We also mentioned that the SPLC, just discarded from the FBI “hate” website… Would be the prime benefactor. Ex-KKK Leader Was Given a New Identity Years Before Shooting Glenn Miller Claims He Was an FBI Informant by ...
Meet AISight – The Artificial Intelligence Software Being Installed on CCTV Networks Globally
2014 04 24
If you thought that CCTV cameras tracking your every move in public was bad enough, you’re going to just love AISight (pronounced “eyesight” of course). The invention of a Houston, Texas based company called BRS Labs (which stands for Behavioral Recognition Systems) is headed by former secret service special agent John Frazzini, and this Orwellian surveillance platform brings artificial intelligence ...
Biofuel Made From Corn Waste Less ‘Green’ Than Gasoline
2014 04 24
Biofuel created from corn waste may not be the clean, eco-friendly oil alternative the United States government is hoping for. A new study has found that fuel generated from harvested corn leftovers creates more greenhouse gases than conventional gasoline — at least in the short term. The fuel under study, called cellulosic ethanol, has been touted in recent years as a ...
Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
2014 04 24
Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. "This was a very special occasion, especially considering the importance of Saint Erik religiously in Sweden," Uppsala Cathedral Chaplain Lars Ĺstrand told The Local. The casket contained the bones of King ...
John Kerry and the Pope set to face off with Jewish Knight Templars on the Temple Mount
2014 04 24
This is the week that supposedly spells the end of the peace process or its end. My money is on a continuation that has no real substance or direction. What’s the alternative? With Passover and Easter over, Secretary Kerry can return to the Middle East crisis. This, after dealing so successfully with crisis in the Ukraine. [Is the author joking? - RIC] With ...
More News »