By Jan Libbenga
25th November 2008
Controversial hosting provider HavenCo - which operated from the
'nation' of Sealand, an old naval fort off the coast of Suffolk which
was declared a 'sovereign principality' by its quirky owner Roy Bates -
has finally gone offline.
As of last week, the HavenCo website is gone and the domain is now
hosted outside  the Sealand subnet.
Founded in 2000 by Bates' son and Michael with $1m in seed money, the
company initially offered an everything goes-policy along with an
offshore fat-pipe data haven. Child pornography, spamming and malicious
hacking were strictly prohibited, but with no restrictions on copyright
or intellectual property for data hosted on its servers, file-sharing
certainly looked like a possibility.
However, Bates said he would readily "turn customer information over to
the authorities if there was any serious problem with our stuff".
By 2002 the company was already in trouble when co-owner Ryan Lackey -
described by Wired once as a MIT dropout and self-taught crypto expert -
left HavenCo after disagreements with the Bates family over the
management of the company. He also claimed HavenCo owed him $220,000 in
cash and additional money in stock.
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