WikiLeaks is getting ready to drop another mega-bomb, this one about high-profile tax evaders, which got us wondering: Where does WikiLeaks actually store all that info?
One place might be Pionen ?White Mountain,” a data center run by the Swedish broadband provider Bahnhof that looks like a SMERSH hideaway.
The center is a converted nuclear bomb shelter that hosts two “live and kicking” WikiLeaks servers, per Bahnhof spokesman Jon Karlung, 100 feet below the streets of downtown Stockholm. Designed by Albert France-Lanord Architects, the center is a testament to one of the big paradoxes of WikiLeaks: To go about doing good, it has to act like the cagey villain.
Everything about Pionen — which hosts several other servers — feels like it came straight out of the mind of Ian Fleming. It’s got 1.64-inch thick metal entrance doors and backup generators from German submarines and granite walls thick enough to withstand a whole fleet of disgruntled diplomats (or bitter Swiss bankers).
The center is as humane as possible for something that’s effectively a glorified dungeon; the architects added plants on the walls and some much-needed glass accents. But mostly, Pionen is faithful to its bomb-shelter roots. WikiLeaks is better off for it. At the same time that it’s utterly transparent about the world, WikiLeaks is forced to be utterly opaque about itself.