Google may take its battle for global domination to the high seas with the launch of its own "computer navy."
The company is considering deploying the supercomputers necessary to operate its Internet search engines on barges anchored up to seven miles offshore.
The "water-based data centers" would use wave energy to power and cool their computers, reducing Google's costs.
Their offshore status would also mean the company would no longer have to pay property taxes on its data centers, which are sited across the world, including in Britain.
In the patent application seen by The Times, Google writes: "Computing centers are located on a ship or ships, anchored in a water body from which energy from natural motion of the water may be captured, and turned into electricity and/or pumping power for cooling pumps to carry heat away."