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Author Topic: [2019-04-22]American bitcoin trader may face death penalty over 'sea home'  (Read 592 times)
d5000
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April 25, 2019, 05:31:31 PM
 #21

the trouble with that mindset is that somebody has to do something first, even if it's one step in a series of incremental steps. [..]. taking the simplest foundational steps first at least means something actually happened, instead of endless talking about it
Yep, I actually agree here, as an experiment it's interesting.

However, the problem in my eyes is more the focus of the project - a solitary seastead home always will need a State or at least a community near for essential services. In this case, it becomes fundamental that this community accepts your presence, which was something that seems to have been lacking in their plans which focused more on physical geography (climate, water depth etc.).

This is a more general critique I have for several "libertarian" projects, not only for Elwar. As I wrote I don't consider libertarian communities without a State impossible, but a lot of factors are often not taken into account.

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hatshepsut93
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April 25, 2019, 06:07:17 PM
 #22

Any government is just a big protection racket gang, so from this point of view it totally makes sense that they would bully a private citizens who decided that it doesn't need them. One of the biggest criticism of seasteading is that they can't protect themselves because they wouldn't have a strong enough military, and this case clearly demonstrates it. Even if we imagine that other countries and organizations like UN will condemn such attacks, it would mean absolutely nothing, because no one would fight for a seastead.

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April 25, 2019, 06:16:42 PM
 #23

Your criticism seems to be that Elwar didn't execute every possible detail from the beginning, that's unrealistic for many reasons. taking the simplest foundational steps first at least means something actually happened, instead of endless talking about it

Elwar was the first to try. Maybe we could argue that he should have seen this coming, but he deserves alot of respect for at least trying, and it was no insignificant attempt. He spent alot of money & time planning and contructing his seastead, which is more than most people in the seasteading bracket have done

Elwar did one mistake, in his quest for independence he didn't though what others think of it nor what he could possibly trigger.
And honestly, although I said it once that I'm wondering how happy the thai government is about this I've never thought it would come to this kind of reaction.

But now looking back, it is pretty easy to see why would they react like this, what if the project would have gain traction, a few thousands of those floating around in an untaxed region and slashing their tourism profits, that wouldn't look good in the books, especially for a country that would go bankrupt without it. Plus with all the mess China is doing with its artificial islands on the other side of the peninsula they decided to step in and...what we see now.

Elwar's profile is still not active, did he get away, any updates on this?

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April 25, 2019, 08:39:05 PM
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 #24

This is the newest photo that I could find. It was made yesterday and according to the article they still haven't found them. I hope they can get away and survive this witch hunt. https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1666424/seastead-lifted-ashore-at-phuket-port




There's also an article saying that "couple’s claim that they are in international waters, and outside of Thai maritime territory, are untrue." Did they miscalculate?

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April 26, 2019, 03:06:20 PM
 #25

What a mess. I support Elwar and Thailand reaction is exaggerated like any other fifth world random government...
Hopefully they didn't catch them yet and I hope they will escape easily!
There is zero chance Thailand tries to execute a US citizen for something like this, though.
Yes or maybe someone should call Trump and asks him to invade Thailand for threatening the live of a US citizen. The girl however could be in trouble if caught...

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April 26, 2019, 05:24:35 PM
 #26

This is the newest photo that I could find. It was made yesterday and according to the article they still haven't found them. I hope they can get away and survive this witch hunt. https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1666424/seastead-lifted-ashore-at-phuket-port




There's also an article saying that "couple’s claim that they are in international waters, and outside of Thai maritime territory, are untrue." Did they miscalculate?

Then the government itself removed it from the sea. The company had already offered to withdraw and pay for all costs. Exactly because it is a complex operation. Unfortunately, the Thai government seems to be little open to dialogue. The ideal would be to remove in a peaceful manner and make clear the rules about any such action in the future.
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April 26, 2019, 08:54:03 PM
 #27

This is the first time in my life that I hear such a story, how can the police be hunting them for something so small? it seems that they are some terrorists who will blow up the world, this is a great exaggeration of the government of thailand, years ago a person of my country was sentenced to death for a very small crime. I would not travel to a country like thailand

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April 26, 2019, 10:24:39 PM
 #28

This is the first time in my life that I hear such a story, how can the police be hunting them for something so small? it seems that they are some terrorists who will blow up the world, this is a great exaggeration of the government of thailand, years ago a person of my country was sentenced to death for a very small crime. I would not travel to a country like thailand

I feel the same. Thai government is trying to swat a fly with a grenade. They sent a warship to remove 2 unarmed people from a raft.

I read a couple articles about this and the government feels like they are in law because according to them the floating home was within their borders not on international waters like Elwar said. The authorities also claim the home was built without any permits and was built on the entry to the port and a danger to passing ships. I guess if you have something like that you need it to be well lit during the night to avoid being rammed. They also say that they tried to contact the seastead before going there to remove it.

On the other hand it looks like Thailand doesn't respect UN conventions and their waters are wherever they want them to be.

Quote
The bitcoin investor’s floating house was stationed 14 nautical miles off the coast of Thailand. According to the 1982 UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, ‘every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles’.

Elwar says the army came there to kill them and he's worried they will do it if they find him.

One thing is certain there will be no seastead in Thailand because they cancelled his visa.


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April 26, 2019, 11:59:31 PM
 #29

the trouble with that mindset is that somebody has to do something first, even if it's one step in a series of incremental steps. [..]. taking the simplest foundational steps first at least means something actually happened, instead of endless talking about it
Yep, I actually agree here, as an experiment it's interesting.

However, the problem in my eyes is more the focus of the project - a solitary seastead home always will need a State or at least a community near for essential services. In this case, it becomes fundamental that this community accepts your presence, which was something that seems to have been lacking in their plans which focused more on physical geography (climate, water depth etc.).

This is a more general critique I have for several "libertarian" projects, not only for Elwar. As I wrote I don't consider libertarian communities without a State impossible, but a lot of factors are often not taken into account.


It is not impossible, however, it would also need a type of protection that only a state can provide. Real military protection with soldiers willing to die to protect your liberty.

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April 27, 2019, 08:39:40 AM
 #30



I am not here to side with any government but just because we belong to the Bitcoin community, and we have the idea of seasteading in our heart do not mean that we should not be working with the government to make sure that what we are doing can never trigger any governmental response. The government with all of its resources, might and influence can bring big hassle to any ordinary citizen that is why we have to avoid wrangling with it. Fighting the government for the sake of having the right to live in the sea may not be worth it in my opinion. I hope the two can find this problem resolved as soon as possible as being fugitives can be a big worry.

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April 27, 2019, 09:20:31 AM
 #31

I think a big mistake was made by deciding to do something like this near Thailand, which has very strict laws for all possible offenses. What is officially listed as an offense here is : “Section 119: Intent to cause injury to the nation” states that, “Whoever does any act with intent to cause the country or any part thereof to descend under the sovereignty of any foreign state, or to deteriorate the independence of the state, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life.”

What is also important here is fact that Elwartowski is send invitations to other people to join him, and 14 people show some interest to do that. This is something that can not work nowhere near countries like Thailand.

https://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367972

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April 27, 2019, 05:13:54 PM
 #32

The funniest, or rather most striking part is that they are going to be prosecuted like invaders, like they were threatening the independence of Thailand! Give me a break!
Don't you guys find it borderline crazy that camping in the middle of the ocean can make you an enemy of the state? And I thought North Korea was detached from reality, but this country is almost on the same level.

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April 27, 2019, 07:10:39 PM
 #33

Any government is just a big protection racket gang, so from this point of view it totally makes sense that they would bully a private citizens who decided that it doesn't need them. One of the biggest criticism of seasteading is that they can't protect themselves because they wouldn't have a strong enough military, and this case clearly demonstrates it. Even if we imagine that other countries and organizations like UN will condemn such attacks, it would mean absolutely nothing, because no one would fight for a seastead.

I think it's less to do with tax, more about shipping lanes and sovereignty. As you point out SE Asia has its fair share of territorial tensions and before you know it you'd have thousands of Chinese people magically deciding seasteads are a great idea a few miles outside other countries if this was permitted to thrive.

It's little to do with these particular people, everything to do with shutting down potential problems before they get any traction. It was very naive of the builders to place it there, but the first person to do anything always get a bullet in the head.

As for the tenants, I guess no news is good news.

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April 27, 2019, 07:17:19 PM
 #34

more about shipping lanes
Their website was very clear that the seastead had been purposefully built in an area away from shipping lanes. If I recall correctly, it said it was in an area often used by small fishing boats, so the authorities can't use that as an excuse in this specific case without also arresting all those fishermen.

As you say though, even just a few hundred people deciding they were fed up and setting up shop all around a country could wreak havoc for their shipping routes. It's probably not in the best interests of the seasteaders either - one serious accident and a few hundred shipping containers spilled in to the ocean and you can guarantee that governments across the world would clamp down harshly on any future efforts.



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April 27, 2019, 07:39:43 PM
 #35



I am not here to side with any government but just because we belong to the Bitcoin community, and we have the idea of seasteading in our heart do not mean that we should not be working with the government to make sure that what we are doing can never trigger any governmental response. The government with all of its resources, might and influence can bring big hassle to any ordinary citizen that is why we have to avoid wrangling with it. Fighting the government for the sake of having the right to live in the sea may not be worth it in my opinion. I hope the two can find this problem resolved as soon as possible as being fugitives can be a big worry.
People do have different interest and heck they do built up that seastead on international waters.Its already over 12 Nautical miles which isnt already enclosed into its territory but still
Thai government do treat this thing as a threat and seeing that image above which they do actually remove that seastead and they are just too exaggerated on this case and it seems that they do really hunt for
some terrorist.Hoping for the safety of the couple.

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April 27, 2019, 07:46:37 PM
Merited by d5000 (1)
 #36

The funniest, or rather most striking part is that they are going to be prosecuted like invaders, like they were threatening the independence of Thailand! Give me a break!
Don't you guys find it borderline crazy that camping in the middle of the ocean can make you an enemy of the state? And I thought North Korea was detached from reality, but this country is almost on the same level.

As you point out SE Asia has its fair share of territorial tensions and before you know it you'd have thousands of Chinese people magically deciding seasteads are a great idea a few miles outside other countries if this was permitted to thrive.


This is what I'm thinking, governments take even the slightest hints of violation of their territory very seriously, because it can set up a precedent or lead to actual territory grabs. For example, Russia says that their military personnel just happen to be on vacation in warzones, imagine if they start popping seasteads right near the borders of territorial waters of some countries, and then use them for some provocations. People who will build the next seasteads should consult with neighbouring countries first, or prepare to possible confrontations in some other ways.

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April 27, 2019, 07:48:46 PM
 #37

Their website was very clear that the seastead had been purposefully built in an area away from shipping lanes. If I recall correctly, it said it was in an area often used by small fishing boats, so the authorities can't use that as an excuse in this specific case without also arresting all those fishermen.

As you say though, even just a few hundred people deciding they were fed up and setting up shop all around a country could wreak havoc for their shipping routes. It's probably not in the best interests of the seasteaders either - one serious accident and a few hundred shipping containers spilled in to the ocean and you can guarantee that governments across the world would clamp down harshly on any future efforts.

Routes change over time. A route that might have been rammed 100 years ago is empty now due to economics, short cuts being built or new technologies. A few thousand people anchored to the sea bed some miles beyond the horizon may not be the most welcome development in that scenario.

People often point to places like Sealand, but that was built by the British government and hasn't gone anywhere since. They tolerate that for comedy value or for the sake of quiet life. It would be very different if it had turned up and dug in overnight like this.


People who will build the next seasteads should consult with neighbouring countries first, or prepare to possible confrontations in some other ways.

Hmm. I reckon they should stick to boats. Unsexy, unoriginal, but far more peaceful. That said, I wonder what would happen if someone planted something in the vicinity of Point Nemo. It's 1000 miles to the nearest dot of land there. Finding somewhere shallow enough might be an issue. Along with remaining alive.

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May 01, 2019, 12:28:35 PM
 #38

I think a big mistake was made by deciding to do something like this near Thailand, which has very strict laws for all possible offenses.

I do not understand either. There are so many other countries with much milder laws. In relation to sovereignty, in relation to taxes. Especially in small countries that are tax havens and tourist destinations.
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May 01, 2019, 12:59:58 PM
 #39

I do not understand either. There are so many other countries with much milder laws. In relation to sovereignty, in relation to taxes. Especially in small countries that are tax havens and tourist destinations.

Probably his girlfriend played a role in this, and besides people tend to look at exotic locations when looking at such projects.
A seastead in Thailand or Indonesia would sound a lot better that one in Spain, right?

Pus he needed waters that are calm most of the year, no hurricanes, no storms or high waves and acceptable climate throughout the years.
Unfortunately not many fit into that, add the fact that you don't want to be in a pirate and smugglers infected water like Somalia or Honduras and you're really low on options.

Still no news?

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May 01, 2019, 07:47:16 PM
 #40

Has anyone seen a real legal analysis of this situation yet? Maritime law is definitely not my strong suit. Was the seastead technically in international waters or was it within the 12 nautical mile limit? The Independent article states this and not much else:

Quote
This dispute arose as he claimed “the home is outside of Thailand’s territorial waters”, but Thai authorities seem to disagree.

Routes change over time. A route that might have been rammed 100 years ago is empty now due to economics, short cuts being built or new technologies. A few thousand people anchored to the sea bed some miles beyond the horizon may not be the most welcome development in that scenario.

It sounds like that's what pissed the Thai government off -- not the seastead per se but the fact that they were trying to get others to join them:

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“By claiming they own a floating house and using social media tried to sell this kind of house, also they claimed that their house is not under any country’s sovereignty, which is not true. And this could cause other people to misunderstand and it is threatening our national security.”

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