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A data haven is a computer or a network that holds data protected from government action by both technical means (encryption) and location in a country that has either no laws, or poorly-enforced laws restricting use of data and no extradition treaties. HavenCo (centralized) and Freenet (decentralized) are two models of modern-day data havens.
Purposes of data havens
Other reasons can include:
- Distributing software, data or speech that violates laws such as the DMCA.
- Copyright infringement.
- Circumventing data protection laws.
- Online gambling.
Origin of the term
This term was coined by Bruce Sterling in his 1988 novel Islands in the Net. The "modern-day" segments of Neal Stephenson's 1999 novel Cryptonomicon concern a small group of entrepreneurs attempting to create a data haven.