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The Nuclear Bunker Where Wikileaks Will Be Located 187

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can-we-have-a-party-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Engadget has photos of 'Pionen White Mountains, the nuclear bunker in which Wikileaks will locate some of its servers. It was excavated 98 feet underground, in a rock hill in the center of Stockholm, Sweden, during the Cold War.' It looks like they hired the same interior designer who decorated Batman's lair."
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The Nuclear Bunker Where Wikileaks Will Be Located

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  • Looks familiar (Score:5, Informative)

    by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @12:19PM (#33426430) Homepage Journal

    I'm reasonably sure Slashdot did a story on this underground data center about a year ago, maybe a bit more. I know I've seen these photos before.

  • Now taking bets on whether the American Gov't will seriously consider nuking Sweden or not.
    • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @12:25PM (#33426528)

      no a bunker makes it easy to cut the data / power cable!

    • by jgagnon (1663075)

      Not necessary. We'll just send Hillary Clinton in there armed with a spatula, an umbrella, and a 28oz can of SpaghettiOs.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Won't somebody please think of the hot Swedish women!

      Oh wait, this is Slashdot... don't think about it! Get back to work!

    • Nah, 98 ft is just right for a GBU-28 [wikipedia.org]. No need for a nuke.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nacturation (646836) *

        Nah, 98 ft is just right for a GBU-28 [wikipedia.org]. No need for a nuke.

        "It proved capable of penetrating over 30 metres (100 ft) of earth or 6 metres (20 ft) of solid concrete."

        This is 30 meters of granite, not earth. Still, I wouldn't want to be underneath it.

        • 30 meters of granite is approximately equivalent to 30 meters of concrete. I'd say you'd be dusty and a bit banged up but otherwise absolutely fine.

  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zabby39103 (1354753) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @12:21PM (#33426456)

    What benefit is there to using these bunkers? If Wikileaks is shut down it will be by court order, not by nuclear missile. I don't see the purpose of paying for their fancy fountain/lighting set up with your server maintenance fees.

    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @12:22PM (#33426484) Homepage Journal

      Although some of it is frills, doing it underground does largely eliminate seasonal variation and might make security and general environmental control easier. For ordinary server rooms that can be a big expense.

    • Because the bunker/data center is designed for 100% uptime and such.
    • Yeah it sounds a bit over top. Like maybe someone is paranoid or just into fantasy.

      Besides the weak link is the internet connection.

    • Because they can (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Joce640k (829181)

      That is enough.

    • by jgagnon (1663075)

      Maybe they are planning a world "undernet"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mark72005 (1233572)
      Publicity.
    • The US would shut it down by Court order. Countries like Kenya have been embarrassed by WikiLeaks in the past and maybe North Korea and China and South American drug cartels will be the same some day. They could be more likely to send some mercenaries etc. The Mafia in America tried sending car and even boat bombs to silence witnesses.

    • by daem0n1x (748565)
      They'll just fill it with lawyers.
    • In one of the comments from TFA.

      The bunkers are great for these kinds of facilities; cool, easy to control the climate/moisture etc and above all untouchable from the outside.

    • by DaveGod (703167)

      My initial reaction was that it looked like an awfully expensive place to host a website financed through donations, probably based on considerations involving no small measure of publicity and grandstanding. But, it occurs to me that a coloc taking these physical security measures are probably operating in a niche market which also requires various other controls more relevant to Wikileaks. Maybe they have a specialised legal team in place enabling a much more aggressive approach to legal risks, for exampl

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thelasko (1196535)

      If Wikileaks is shut down it will be by court order, not by nuclear missile.

      Or they could just cut the network cable. No use running a web server that's not connected to a network.

    • They're probably not paying any rent and because "it is the colocation center of Bahnhof, a Swedish internet hosting company (FTFA)" and because "Bahnhof further expanded the facilities when they took it over, blasting new space for gas oil power plants." it makes sense.
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @03:03PM (#33428540) Journal

      This "bunker" is actually just a regular ISP/hosting provider that happens to have their operation running out of a badass-looking bunker. Wikileaks probably wanted to move to these guys because they do have a good reputation as a hosting provider. The hosting provider likes this because they get another opportunity to do their supervillain act in front of the media, giving them more free advertising.

      Actually I wouldn't be surprised if the hosting co. called up Wikileaks and said "Hey, we'll host your site for free/at a discount if you give us permission to gloat about it publically." And Wikileaks cuts down on their bills. Everyone wins.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We ain't got no steenkin' servers. We spent all our money with Gary, our Designer.

  • by snookerhog (1835110) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @12:21PM (#33426474)
    there are some decommissioned missile sites out there for sale. here [missilebases.com] is one site with listings.

    anyone with enough tin foil and a couple million $ can have their very own underground fortress!

    • there are some decommissioned missile sites out there for sale. here [missilebases.com] is one site with listings.

      anyone with enough tin foil and a couple million $ can have their very own underground fortress!

      Are you crazy?! That's exactly what the government wants you to do! When all of us who know the truth have finally situated ourselves all locked up tight in these bunkers they'll open the doors to the real missile bunker right beneath us - and then nuke us, minimizing collateral damage. That's why those bunkers are built so strong - not to prevent attacks from the outside getting in, but to prevent fallout/etc from the inside getting out!

      • The difference between a fortress and a prison is whether the weapons point in or out.

        Seriously. Ever notice how many prisons in Europe were converted fortresses?

      • What? No that's crazy. They used these bunkers to store the mind-control chemicals that airliners release into the atmosphere, back before they stored them in their secret space base stuck to the outside of the Earth's ice wall. These bunkers had to be built with thick walls infused with a top-secret material found in UFO hulls to cloak the facilities from being detected by dowsing rods. By selling these bunkers to those of us who know the truth, they hope to expose us to an extremely high dose of chemtrail

        • I was with you until "dowsing rods". What kind of looney believes in dowsing rods!?! You're obviously a mole for the Illuminati/IMF, just trying to earn our trust, so you can steal our gold, and replace us with vat-grown clones! Did you think we'd be so easily taken!? What kind of gullible morons do you take us for!? Hah!

    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      >anyone with enough tin foil and a couple million $ can have their very own underground fortress!

      Are you trying to tell me that if you had the cash you wouldn't buy one?
  • Who's got the breakdown on the cooling strategy for the batcave?
  • What's the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @12:25PM (#33426522) Homepage
    This is just grandstanding really. A nuclear bunker data center is no more secure from law enforcement than any other data center. Sure, you get better protection from natural disasters and whatnot, but if the cops come in with a court order to shut it down, the nuclear bunker people are no safer than anyone else unless they plan on hiring an army and defending the place to the death. Even then, the government just needs to get a court order to force all of their upstream network providers to cut them off and they'll be just as screwed as any other data center. After all, "leaking" documents to a collection of servers underground is not particularly effective if those servers can't connect to the Internet.

    The survivability of Wikileaks in Sweden is entirely dependent on the Swedish government's willingness to let them be there, and nothing else. The servers could exist in a cave underground or a data center with a big sign that says "Wikileaks is here" in downtown Stockholm. Either way, if the Swedish governments decides they want it gone, it's going to be gone.
    • I agree. But I think this is a ruse/diversion/etc. My guess is that the real servers will be located elsewhere. Security by obscurity.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by siriuskase (679431)
        This data center is as real as any mirror site. It has an advantage in that if the government simply pulls the plug, it pulls down every website hosted there. That would be a very unpopular move. People who wouldn't ordinarily rally around Wikileaks will get interested if their email, voip, or web are threatened. If, instead, the government uses legal processes, it could take days or weeks of injunctions and stays of injunctions and good old fashioned foot dragging by the ISP that operates the facility.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bsDaemon (87307)

          Your contention is that people will side with Wikileaks if they get caught up in a dragnet approach by the government. Country point: it is at least equally likely that people affected by such a move would side against Wikileaks, blaming Wikileaks for putting them (Johan Six-Herring) in such a position and wish them gone so as to stop inconveniencing everyone else.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tomtefar (935007)
      More specifically, it is up to the judicial branch of the Swedish government to decide. The cabinet and parliament has very little say in how the authorities carry out the law. The few times they have tried, the Swedish press goes berserk and accuses them of minister ruling (ministerstyre), which is forbidden.
      • Sweden (Score:3, Informative)

        by sconeu (64226)

        Has shown that they are willing to do the xxAA's bidding. Ask DVD-Jon.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Has shown that they are willing to do the xxAA's bidding. Ask DVD-Jon.

          Yes, they have shown that they are willing to do the xxAA's bidding. DVD-Jon is unrelated, he is from Norway and has as far as I know never had any kind of interaction with neither Swedish government nor Swedish press.

    • You have to connect to the network somehow.
    • by suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @01:06PM (#33427070)

      Let's assume, just assume, that Wikileaks has some more juicy tidbits it hasn't been sharing.

      Now if they have a location that cannot be broken into physically, and if they have a satellite upload rig, HAM radio, or a similar guaranteed-broadcast failsafe, then there is no way short of abject violence (bombs or similar) to stop them from spreading the dirtiest secrets they have should any determined foe show up at their door and demand that they turn over servers.

      Now, given time or the right equipment, an agency can get through even a nuclear bunker, but if they need time, the broadcast capability becomes a serious threat, and if they need equipment, there's most likely going to be... well, leaks that it's getting ready to be mobilized, and then we come to the time issue again. Setting things up to get into a hardened facility without tripping a safeguard like that is tricky.

      Or maybe not, but it's food for thought.

  • Seems like a wise use of money. I mean, sure, they could have bought a normal data center for far cheaper, but does the normal data center protect against nuclear missiles? You see, these are the questions you have to ask Meg.
    • by malakai (136531)

      Sure they could have paid interns to help them redact out civilian informants name/information to prevent any retribution when they leak classified military documents, but DID YOU SEE THAT FOUNTAIN!?! IT HAZ COLOR!

  • Here's why:

    It's pretty cool at those depths so simply pumping air around can save in air conditioning utility bills. On the other hand, dealing with human waste often needs additional equipment though not expensive.

    • by paazin (719486)

      It's pretty cool at those depths so simply pumping air around can save in air conditioning utility bills. On the other hand, dealing with human waste often needs additional equipment though not expensive.

      Mostly because there is very little generation of heat underground so the air takes roughly the same temperature as the surrounding rock.

      Unfortunately when you're dealing with dozens of servers that's going to generate a _great_ deal more heat than can be dissipated, so unless you have A/C or great ven

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @12:28PM (#33426578)

    Engadget has photos of 'Pionen White Mountains, the nuclear bunker in which Wikileaks will locate some of its servers. It was excavated 98 feet underground, in a rock hill in the center of Stockholm, Sweden, during the Cold War.' It looks like they hired the same interior designer who decorated Batman's lair

    Even though the summary mentions Engadget as the source, the TFA links to Gizmodo and as far as I know Engadget has nothing about this on their homepage.

    • by Spad (470073)

      Engadget, Gizmodo, what's the difference? If I wanted properly edited stories I'd go to a decent tech news aggregator, like Slashdot.

  • Either the photos are fake, or that place [gawkerassets.com] keeps changing hands.

    Seriously that's like the third if not fourth time I've seen this exact photo used over the last two or three years of Slashdot news.

    • It's a colo facility. Most likely there's been another story or two about for the "cool factor". Seriously I don't think they're down there for the "bunker". If the Swedish government is like most other governments when they sell off useless Cold War bunkers, the colo people probably got it for and song and realized it was perfect for servers. Since it was intended for medium to long term human habitation in the event of a total infrastructure failure, it's got built in pretty much everything you need,

  • The data's got to come out of a hole somewhere.

    Wikileaks can be defeated with a pair of dykes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mysidia (191772)

      Down the rabbit hole and back again.

      I doubt think this is to protect the servers against military/police action by legitimate authorities. This is probably the DR site they forgot to build.

      They need to bolster security, because Wikileaks might have information that bad actors would love to get their hands on in uncensored form.

      If the military wanted to blow up servers, they could simply secure cooperation from the operators of the datacenter, and force their way in, less collataral damage that way

    • by poity (465672) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @01:06PM (#33427058)
      I assume one dyke to distract the employees with a tirade on modern gender roles in the gay community while the other sneaks in with a sledgehammer.
  • when i worked at www.iol.unh.edu, networkworld or someone like that did an article about us. since we were just a bunch of server racks, they brought in all these stupid colored lights, killed the main lights.. all the kids working there got hollywood concealer jobs. they ended up looking like mimes, covering the nerd complexion. and of course, the place is 120 kids, 8 females... after 16 kids had photos taken, it looked like a 50% ratio. go figure. photography is a quick and easy way to stretch the tr

  • by mr100percent (57156) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @12:48PM (#33426828) Homepage Journal

    I'm looking at this photo of one of the rooms [gawkerassets.com]. Is having a glass room suspended from the ceiling really such a good idea for a bunker designed to withstand blasts? It seems like a very bad idea to make a structurally sound bunker with that kind of room. Unless you want your manager to be the first one to die in his office

  • by pEBDr (1363199) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @12:58PM (#33426950)
    ... to work there. Just imagine growing up programming in your parents basement, and when you finally get a real job, it's in a cave.
    • and I have to agree. It was only a Canadian Dieffenbunker (http://www.diefenbunker.ca/ ) in Alberta, but it was underground, under concrete and steel and it got a bit depressing. After a 12 hour shift it was really quite shocking to exit the bank-vault doors and return to the real world :P

      It was also kinda cool in a way :P

    • by ebuck (585470)

      ... to work there. Just imagine growing up programming in your parents basement, and when you finally get a real job, it's in a cave.

      On the bright side, they have a lot of room to move up. Through solid rock. Yeah, it's like a career ladder, but you have to dig your way up it. And there's bats.

  • Been there (Score:3, Informative)

    by BetterThanCaesar (625636) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @01:23PM (#33427300)

    I've been down there on a tour once. It's quite a cool place as you can see from the pictures, with its humidifiers, plants, lighting and floating island landscape. Although as others have pointed out, none of this protects against any real threat.

    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      It protects against the threat of being square! Consider it Apple Care for your Colo.

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @01:34PM (#33427418)

    Looks like a great place for Assange to stash the women. Be a lot harder for them to run to the police.

  • by MaWeiTao (908546)

    Looks to me like it's being done more for show, and perhaps ego, than for any practical reason. I certainly don't see it being any cheaper than just having the servers in some office building somewhere.

  • I fear for the safety of those at WikiLeaks as well as their gear and data. The best security might be to have quite a bit of their data and personnel in a highly mobile, very covert, posture. Various governments can not be trusted and murder is not an unknown event.

  • by NerveGas (168686) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @02:36PM (#33428172)

    The natural enemy of fiber... a backhoe?

    • Ah, the backhoe, with its powerful metal proboscis, always seeking to dig up the soft flesh of the fiberopticus expensivus and feed on its sweet photons. A battle as old as time itself that wages on in spite of man's technological advancements.

  • This makes good sense for Wikileaks. It gives them protection against any "accidents". The US government can ask the Swedish government to shut down Wikileaks, but that will be public, highly visible, controversial, argued in the press, and decided by Swedish courts.

  • Gleaming white pyramid [gizmodo.com], need we see (23) more? ;-)
    And that's just days after having been implicated in the destruction of Alderaan [imgur.com]...

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