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Wikileaks looks to move servers offshore to avoid prosecution

Dan Graziano
January 31st, 2012 at 12:35 PM

In an attempt to evade U.S. prosecution, Julian Assange’s investors are said to be in the process of moving Wikileaks’s servers offshore, according to Fox News. Multiple unnamed sources spoke with the news network and said Assange’s financial backers have been going through the logistics of moving the servers to international waters. “They can keep running Wikileaks and nobody can touch them,” a source told Fox News. “If you get a certain distance away from any land then you’re dealing with maritime law … They can’t prosecute him under maritime law. He’s safe. He’s not an idiot, he’s actually very smart.” Read on for more.

Wikileaks’s servers are currently located in Sweden and Iceland, among other locations. The company is reportedly eyeing a move to the Principality of Sealand, a World War II-era former anti-aircraft platform in the North Sea off the coast of England. Due to a 1968 British court ruling, the facility is outside the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, with Sealand’s owners declaring the facility a sovereign state.

Others have dismissed the idea, however, claiming that simply moving servers would not protect Wikileaks and its members from prosecution. “Where the data resides isn’t what determines jurisdiction,” said Jim Dempsey, vice president of public policy with the Center for Democracy and Technology. “You prosecute real people, you don’t prosecute servers. 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.”

Assange, who is currently facing extradition for sexual assault charges, announced last week that he would be hosting his own talk show and will be a guest on the 500th episode of The Simpsons.

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