01 Feb Wikileaks May Be Heading Out to Sea
I don’t know how credible this report is:
WikiLeaks may soon take a page from 1960s-era British pirate radio broadcasters and move operations offshore. Financial backers of embattled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are reportedly in the market for a boat that would maintain the watchdog site’s servers in international waters to avoid U.S. legal authorities, according to FoxNews.com.
I also don’t know how useful moving offshore would be for Wikileaks. While it would escape certain laws by operating in international waters (like Swedish laws against rape?), it would not escape many of the laws it has been worried about (like US espionage laws which are not limited to pure territorial jurisdiction). Moreover, operating in international waters makes it easier, not harder, for another nation to detain Wikileaks people and property, since no territorial sovereignty is being violated by such a detention. Obviously, the ship would be flagged in some country, but as a practical matter, it simply wouldn’t be much of a barrier to attempts to seize it. I don’t think my analysis would change very much even if it was operated in one of the “Principality of Sealand,” which is not a recognized state (and has no chance of becoming a recognized state). So, a dumb move all around for Wikileaks.