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The Dangers of Caribbean Data Havens



From Bruce Sterling in "Islands in the Net" to various reports of data
havens and Internet services being set up by actual people, there has been
much speculation about using Caribbean islands for data havens.

But the infrastructure has been lacking. Low-bandwidth inter-island links.

And now yet another huge hurricane is bearing down on the Lesser Antilles,
heading directly for Puerto Rico and Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican
Republic).

"Outages" lasting days or weeks after these islands get torn up every few
years will not go too well with international commerce.

Some fixes may help:

* higher-bandwidth connections, e.g., undersea fiber.

* satellites as primary or secondary connections

* more secure on-island facilities, designed to maintain contact with
satellites or fibers even with a Force 4 hurricane direct hit.

The "regulatory arbitrage" aspects still make using the Islands
advantageous (though they can be buffeted by political storms as well as
physical ones).

At least two current or past Cypherpunks are living in the Islands and
working on some schemes. Something to think about.

Personally, I think a distributed system based on crypto is a more robust
approach, the "Libertaria in Cyberspace" view I've talked about.

--Tim May

---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:----
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
Corralitos, CA              | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^756839      | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."