Ok, lets start with the assumption that no existing country will be able to provide the kind of guarantees that a real data haven needs to operate -- the costs are, in the general case, way too high. However, it should be possible to build a nation out of the sea in a remote corner of the ocean that would be able to provide those guarantees, since it would be built for that purpose. Let's review what I consider to be important criteria for an appropriate location:
- A sea mount would be an ideal location, as it would provide a relatively shallow underwater foundation, and is unlikely to be currently considered important by anyone, easing costs of acquisition.
- This sea mount should be outside the normal territorial waters or economic exclusion zone (200 mi) of any sovereign nation.
- It should be either unclaimed or claimed by a relatively poor nation, so it can be cheaply bought.
- It should be in relatively calm waters
My personal favorite is a location called Minerva Reef
, several hundred miles south of Fiji
, and claimed by same. Fiji
maintains an automated lighthouse
station there, but nothing more. It is also a shallow coral reef -- the top breaks the water about half of the time, but is awash at high tide. This should make construction relatively easy for a remote sea mount. It is also out of the main hurricane paths in the area. Fiji
is relatively poor and might be willing to sell for a reasonable price, especially if the builders promised to build the platforms in Fiji
before towing them out to the reef, and employ Fijian
workers on site. A large platform, possibly including a short landing strip, should be doable for under $10 million dollars.