Nuclear Deterrent

Wikileaks' underground lair.



How do you protect your digital data when the U.S. government wants it wiped off the Web? For the watchdog website WikiLeaks, which recently raised the Pentagon's ire by publicly posting thousands of classified documents related to the war in Afghanistan, the answer can be summed up in three words: Swedish nuclear bunker.

In August, WikiLeaks announced that it would house much of its data inside a mountain-based facility near Stockholm. The bunker was built as a bomb shelter in 1943; in the Cold War '70s, it was expanded into a nuclear-safe civil defense center. Buried under 98 feet of earth and rock and insulated by 20-inch-thick steel doors, it now resembles a cross between a set from 24 and the Batcave.

The move is part of a deal between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the copyright reformers of the Swedish Pirate Party to protect the site from governmental pressure. Whether it succeeds in shielding the site from international influence remains to be seen. But at least the nuclear option is off the table. 

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  1. Hmmmm, methinks Wikileaks is getting a little fat in the head.

    1. Also, am I the only one who is getting link ads in article text? I’ve never seen that here before…

      1. Just use Adblocker + firefox.

      2. I’m getting them too. And I don’t think a nuke was ever on the table to destroy the info WL has.

        1. No, but it would serve them right if it was…

      3. I hate that. But I don’t get them in Chrome.

  2. That’s a damned lie.

  3. I design data centers for a living, and this one makes us ooh and aah. Not a terribly big facility though, and those back-up generators gotta exhaust somewhere. Perhaps bomb proof, but not blanket proof or plywood proof…

    1. I ain’t fallin for no banana in the tailpipe.

    2. Use the exhaust to warm an above ground orphanage. That will surely stop them! Uhm, it doesn’t? Then after they blow it up, you get charged with using kids as human shields? Damn, those Fokkers don’t play around.

      1. General Dodonna: The battle station is heavily shielded and carries a firepower greater than half the star fleet. It’s defenses are designed around a direct, large-scale assault. A small one-man fighter should be able to penetrate the outer defense.
        Gold Leader: Pardon me for asking, sir, but what good are snub fighters going to be against that?
        General Dodonna: Well, the Empire doesn’t consider a small one-man fighter to be any threat, or they’d have a tighter defense. An analysis of the plans provided by Princess Leia has demonstrated a weakness in the battle station. But the approach will not be easy. You are required to maneuver straight down this trench and skim the surface to this point. The target area is only two meters wide. It’s a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy the station. Only a precise hit will set off a chain reaction. The shaft is ray-shielded, so you’ll have to use proton torpedoes.
        Wedge Antilles (Red 2): That’s impossible! Even for a computer.
        Luke: It’s not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not much bigger than two meters.
        General Dodonna: Then man your ships. And may the Force be with you.

        1. Rebel Pilot: Hey, uh… could I talk to you privately for a second?
          Luke Skywalker: Sure.
          Rebel Pilot: That, uh… That was unnecessary.
          Luke Skywalker: What’s the problem?
          Rebel Pilot: Well you just kind of called me out in front of everybody back there.
          Luke Skywalker: I was just making a point…
          Rebel Pilot: I know, I know, but you like, just kinda sandbagged me in front of everyone we know.
          Luke Skywalker: Oh, oh, I “sandbagged” you?
          Rebel Pilot: In front of all of our friends, yeah, you sandbagged me.
          Luke Skywalker: I “sandbagged” you.
          Rebel Pilot: You sandbagged me, yes.
          Luke Skywalker: Well here I am trying to help you —
          Rebel Pilot: You know what? You know what? You know what? I don’t need your kind of help, alright? Have a great assault, jerk.

    3. They should switch to a small nuclear generator then.

  4. Nuclear option off the table?

    You don’t know jack about nukes. 98 feet of earth and rock is nothing. Cheyenne Mountain is under almost 2000 feet of granite and it hasn’t been nukeproof since the 70s.

    1. Beat me to it.

    2. Maybe it would be more fair to say the aerial drone option is off the table.

    3. If we didn’t use nukes at Tora Bora we sure aren’t going to use them on Sweden.

  5. Surely they wouldn’t actually announce where they are housing their data?

    Methinks this is a diversion, and when a CIA team busts in there guns blazing, they’ll just find themselves in a dusty wine cellar while Assange laughs his ass off hundreds of miles away

    1. I’m sure they have copies of their data in multiple locations.

      Didn’t they release an encrypted file via torrent that supposedly contains all sorts of nasty shit that nobody wants exposed, threatening to release the decreption key if their founder was prosecuted for…whatever the hell is was going to be prosecuted for? And then a short time later the prosecution was dropped-what a coicidence. Me thinks he has a world-wide get-out-of-jail-free card now. Nobody is going to fuck with them any time soon, at least not blatantly and openly.

      1. I thought the investigation was back on after the first guy was replaced.

      2. Don’t be silly. If any serious government seriously wants this fellow neutralized, they’re just going to send a small team to put a bullet in his head. Yeah, go ‘release your decryption key’ now, shithead. Much good may it do your shade.

        What is it with bitheads anyway, who think some really clever bit of programming can circumvent crude physical reality?

        1. Unless those oh-so-serious governments are smarter than you and realize that anyone who has taken those steps has also included a dead man’s switch.

          What any of that has to do with ‘really clever… programming’ is beyond me. I won’t ask though.

        2. What good would just offing him do? I guess it could “set an example,” but Assange isn’t wikileaks: there’s dozens of people involved, who would surely release all sorts of compromising stuff if their boss were killed.

          Going after his funding/reputation, as they are doing now, is a much more clever line of attack for the statists.

  6. In the modern world, maneuvers like this amount to PR stunts that get all the geeks moist.

    If the Swedish government is sufficiently pressured, Wikileaks will have its connection to the world cut off with ease. They’re just as save inside a commercial building with all the standard enterprise disaster recovery plans. Oh, and a few less public announcements as to where the “secret lair is” would probably help.

    1. You know who else is likely living in a cave right now?

      1. If you’re referring to whom I think you’re referring, he’s still writing for the New York Times.

  7. Didn’t Michael Moore do the same thing for all the copies of Fahrenheit 9/11?

    Yeah, I laughed at that, too.

  8. Well, now they just have to figure out where to get the funds to run the site from the lair once the US pressures all their sources of funding to dry up.

    1. Referring to this?…

  9. Hmm is there a rock faced facade that slides away when Julian Assange is driven up in his white Rolls while petting his white Persian cat?

  10. I think this is the set from Danger: Diabolik. Mario Bava FTW!

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  13. Total publicity stunt… but great concept.

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