WikiLeaks eyes offshore base of operations

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Investors and supporters of the whistle-blowing WikiLeaks website are reportedly attempting to move the organization's servers offshore in an effort to avoid prosecution from US law enforcement officials.



One possible location? The Principality of Sealand, a World War II-era, former anti-aircraft platform floating off the coast of England in the North Sea.

WikiLeaks eyes offshore base of operations

Sealand undoubtedly appeals to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as a 1968 British court ruling determined the facility was located outside the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.

As such, Sealand's de-facto owner has declared the facility a sovereign state, or a "micro-nation" sorts.

["Offshore], they can keep running WikiLeaks and nobody can touch them. If you get a certain distance away from any land, then you're dealing with maritime law," an unnamed source told FoxNews.

"They can't prosecute him under maritime law. He's safe. [Assange is not an idiot, he's actually very smart."



However, Jim Dempsey, of the Center for Democracy and Technology, emphasized that simply moving the servers offshore wouldn’t shield WikiLeaks from prosecution.

"Where the data resides isn't what determines jurisdiction. You prosecute real people, you don't prosecute servers," he explained.

"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."

David Willson, attorney and founder and CEO of Titan Information Security Group, concurred with Dempsey's analysis. 



"Moving WikiLeaks offshore, depending on the legal nature of the location, could actually make taking action easier for a nation... Nations might likely be free to take whatever action they deem necessary to stop whatever activity they disagree with.



"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," he added.