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Datahavens have long been discussed as a solution to user security and privacy needs. Instinctively, the idea of physical locations where servers for communications, financial privacy, and other services can work is easily understood and seems appealing. As a founder of the HavenCo datahaven on Sealand in 2000, I saw firsthand the potential and the pitfalls of this approach.
We will discuss the concept behind datahavens, some specific examples, the legal and technical challenges they face, and how specifically HavenCo failed. While projects to date have largely failed, there is hope for the future, both in the physical datahaven approach and in technical measures, so there is good reason to be optimistic.