HavenCo Returns, as a VPN Service?

SEALAND have today announced the return of HavenCo, a data haven based on the principality, after being offline for 5 years, and not accepting customers for 10 years. It’s not entirely clear as to what it will do exactly, but VPNs have been confirmed and secure storage solutions are also rumoured. The news was posted today on the Twitter and Facebook accounts of Sealand.

HavenCo was previously an attempt at running an ISP from the Principality of Sealand.  Sealand is a ‘sovereign principality’ located off the coast of Suffolk, UK. The idea of HavenCo was that, with Sealand being an independent ‘country’ and not part of trade organisations, intellectual property laws did not apply, and therefore aside from the most extreme content (child pornography, terrorism), HavenCo would let their customers host pretty much anything.

Whilst currently not offering any usable services, HavenCo have launched a landing page, allowing registrations to their newsletter. They claim to be “launching new services in early 2013 to facilitate private communications and storage.”


It is not yet clear about the management of the new HavenCo, particularly as they also seem to be using the company name “E Crypto, Libertas”, which is also their Twitter handle @eCryptoLibertas. It is also unclear whether the restrictions will be as before, or if they intend to make it a less questionable service. Regardless, I’d imagine the idea is to promote a free internet, so it’s unlikely that HavenCo will be imposing much in terms of copyright restriction.

HavenCo was started in 2000 and gained widespread media coverage, but quickly declined over the following few years, barely being used or known by 2003, yet still up and running until 2008. There are many potential reasons why it failed, partially due to lack of funding, but mostly involving the reliability of the service. Ex-founder Ryan Lackey outlined some of these reasons in a 2003 presentation; sourcing lack of organisation and connectivity issues as the main causes of failure.

Filesharing service The Pirate Bay also attempted to buy Sealand in 2007, in order to run their services from there. However, the existing owners refused.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this unfolds, particularly regarding the legal issues surrounding the service. Would you use the service? Do you think it’s a good idea? Please let me know your thoughts, below. You can find HavenCo at havenco.com.


Photo credit: Ryan Lackey / Flickr

Henry Cole

I'm an all round tech guy from Colchester, UK. I co-owned Geekily and regularly wrote here under "Geekily UK", but have since left the site to pursue other projects.

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