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Reason Foundation

Nuclear Deterrent

Wikileaks' underground lair.

Peter Suderman
October 15, 2010

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. 


Peter Suderman is Associate Editor


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