|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2008)|
|This article is outdated. (October 2013)|
|Key people||Michael Bates, Sean Hastings, Ryan Donald Lackey|
|Services||Web hosting service|
HavenCo Limited was a data haven, data hosting services company, founded in 2000 which operates from Sealand, self-declared sovereign principality that occupies a man-made former World War II defensive facility originally known as Roughs Tower located approximately six miles from the coast of Suffolk, southeast England.
On August 22, 2000, Michael Bates of Leigh-on-sea, Essex (who is also known as Prince Michael of Sealand), bought a dormant British company which was renamed HavenCo Limited. It was given the registration number of 04056934 by Companies House, an executive agency of the UK Department of Trade and Industry. The registered office of HavenCo Limited was recorded at 11 Kintyre House, Cold Harbour, London, E14 9NL England. The directors were listed as Michael Roy Bates, a citizen of the United Kingdom, who was named Chief Operating Officer, and Ryan Donald Lackey, a US citizen. Other founders included Sean Hastings, Jo Hastings, Avi Freedman, and Sameer Parekh was an advisor to the company. The company later relocated its registration to Cyprus.
HavenCo initially received broad coverage in the international media, appearing on the cover of Wired Magazine, in over 200 press articles, and in several television reports. In these reports, HavenCo claimed to have established a secure colocation facility on Sealand, and that it had commenced operations as a data haven. Detractors claim that these reports gave the impression that HavenCo was registered on Sealand itself, and that the company would issue domain names under the authority of that entity, when in fact it had no entitlement to do so.
The company announced that it had become operational in December 2000 and that its Acceptable Use Policy prohibited child pornography, spamming, and malicious hacking - but that all other content was acceptable. It claimed that it had no restrictions on copyright or intellectual property for data hosted on its servers, arguing that as Sealand was not a member of the World Trade Organization or WIPO, international intellectual property law did not apply. Other services available from HavenCo at the time included IT consulting, systems administration, offshore software development, and electronic mail services. Later policies specified, "No pornography that would be considered illegal within the EU," and "No infringement of copyright."
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, HavenCo announced that the operation would block initiatives "contrary to international custom and practice."
Ryan Lackey left HavenCo under acrimonious circumstances in 2002, citing disagreements with the Bates family over management of the company. HavenCo itself was still in operation in 2008, but the extent of its business was unknown. Lackey claims that HavenCo owes him $220,000 of un-reimbursed expenses that went towards, among other things, paying other people's salaries.
On February 18th, 2013, the Sealand Newsletter ran a brief announcement that HavenCo will be offering no new IT facilities on Sealand as previous occupants who were owed money have planted signal blockers and will activate them if the need arises. One of these creditors has also confirmed that if high level traffic is detected it can now also be blocked by a radially polarized beam from Trinity House in Harwich.
HavenCo's new plans include offering proxies, VPNs, and other services using servers in the US and the EU, while storing encryption keys and other cold data in Sealand.
- HavenCo “data center” offline? Security and the Net November 18, 2008
- Offshore hosting firm HavenCo lost at sea The Register, November 25 2008
- Lackey, R. HavenCo: what really happened p.19, DEF CON, August 3 2003, retrieved September 11 2010
- Sealand Internet Law Havenco, archived June 3 2008 from the original
- Garfinkel, Simson (July 2000). "Welcome to Sealand. Now Bugger Off.". Wired 8 (07).
- Grimmelmann, James (March 28, 2012). "Death of a data haven: cypherpunks, WikiLeaks, and the world's smallest nation". Ars Technica.
- Sealand, HavenCo, and the Rule of Law, James Grimmelmann, March 2012, University of Illinois Law Review, Volume 2012, Number 2
- "Has 'haven' for questionable sites sunk?" - A News.com article from August 4, 2003
- "HavenCo In Trouble?". Slashdot. August 06, 2003.
- Video - From The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
- Video - From 2009 Seasteading conference - HavenCo Founding CEO Sean Hastings speaks about Sealand, Havenco, and living on an extra-national sea platform.