Ten years ago on 19 July 1997, Ken Kerns founded what is considered by many to be the oldest Internet micronation. That micronation, known as the Virtual Commonwealth of Cyberia, has survived throughout its history several civil wars, incessant bickering between key citizens, bouts of inactivity and claims against its legitimacy as the true Cyberia. Yet despite its longevity, the celebration continues to be overshadowed by the ongoing dispute between the Virtual Commonwealth and Federal Republic as to which government represents the true continuation of Mr. Kern’s Cyberia.
Jacobus B.S. Kahunamea, the founder and most prominent citizen of the Federal Republic of Cyberia, reflected sombrely on the anniversary, remarking that “for nine of those years the community was wracked by schism and civil war. The echoes of that continue to this day.” Meanwhile, in the Virtual Commonwealth, the population of which largely dismisses the Federal Republic as being a device of terrorism, David Catchpole, a candidate for president in the upcoming election, skirted the divisive issue and reflected that “[Cyberia has] survived ten years, and we should move to insure survival for ten [more] years.”