These pictures show the Pionen data centre, 100ft below ground in a former Cold War nuclear bunker, where all the WikiLeaks files are being kept amid high security just like
Steel and glass doors frame its entrance, which is carved into the hard rock of Vita Bergen - The White Mountains - in the centre of Stockholm, Sweden. Step into the former shelter, which was reopened on September 11, 2008 with its futuristic design the brainchild of Swedish architects Albert France-Lanord, who were inspired by Bond sets created by Sir Kenneth Adams, and you are greeted by harsh white light reflecting off high granite walls.
As you walk towards the office area buried 30 metres underground, two old German submarine engines lie along the narrow tunnel-like corridors - repurposed as emergency back-up generators. Beside them, the submarine's emergency horns emit a loud buzzing noise when pressed.The vast cave, drilled into granite under the Vita Berg Park in Stockholm, houses dozens of computer servers used as storage by many companies.
Complete with a 'floating' conference room, suspended glass corridors, lunar landscape flooring, designer furniture, and even, intriguingly, German U-boat engines as back-up generators, all that is missing is the bleached-blond Assange himself.
While on the run from Swedish and American authorities, Assange has had to use this secure base for his files.There are three levels of back-up for the servers, which are housed in a 1200 square-metre area decorated with wall plants, artificial waterfalls and a 2600-litre saltwater fish tank.
"The business we do needs ultra security," Bahnhof's chief executive Jon Karlung told Data Centre Pulse in 2009.
"We need high-tech facilities to protect our equipment and also make our clients safe and secure in this environment, so it is ideal for serving and hosting business."
This is not the first time that WikiLeaks has turned to Bahnhof.It had previously used Bahnhof's servers to house its data - including some of its Iraq War Logs documents - around August. WikiLeaks also spreads its private data and hosting servers across the globe to minimise its risk of being completely overwhelmed by cyber attacks.WikiLeaks was hosted by internet retailer Amazon but it was kicked off its website following intense pressure from American politicians. Assange then used a French firm before being expelled from there as well.As a result, WikiLeaks has set up numerous 'domain names' in dozens of countries, each linked to one that keeps copies of the original files.
Assange has turned to Sweden because the country's laws are some of the best in the world for protecting the work of freedom of speech campaigners. Under Swedish law, WikiLeaks cannot be prosecuted and neither can the people who pass it information.Wikileaks is funded by a mixture of public donations, help from Assange's wealthy patrons and, so far as anyone can tell, a fair bit by Assange himself.Everything WikiLeaks has in its possession could probably be stored on a high-capacity memory stick.
Last summer, a photographer named Antony Antony posted photos on his flick page, showing his tour of Bahnhof's ultra secure facility in Sweden, what MIT Tech Review's Christopher Mims called "a fortified data center encased in a Cold War-era, nuke-proof bunker encased in bedrock."
"Notice the lack of supports in the ceiling, aside from some kind of spray-concrete," wrote Mims in his blog post, "The rock from which this bunker was carved is hard enough that none are required."
Though the place is meant to be kept safe from physical and privacy-related damage, Antony was permitted to take his camera along on his summer tour."There was no special restriction on taking general pictures at Bahnhof," wrote Antony in an e-mail to us. "They told us not to take pictures of details such as logs on the rack or specific equipment."
WikiLeaks said it has come under "heavy" cyber attack in the past week as it released gradually released its cache of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables.Yesterday the non-profit organisation re-released a list of 355 mirror sites, "in order to make it impossible to ever fully remove WikiLeaks from the internet". The mirror sites replicate WikiLeaks' data.The organisation has also started offering its archives for download through BitTorrent - the sharing of files through computers connected to the internet.
"Due to recent attacks on our infrastructure, we've decided to make sure everyone can reach our content. As part of this process we're releasing archived copy of all files we ever released," WikiLeaks said on its site.It has also posted a 1.4GB file encrypted with a 256-digit key that is said to be unbreakable for anyone to download in the event "something happens to us".
WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange explained in a live blog on The Guardian on Friday: "The Cable Gate archive has been spread, along with significant material from the US and other countries to over 100,000 people in encrypted form.
"If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically. Further, the Cable Gate archives is in the hands of multiple news organisations. History will win. The world will be elevated to a better place."