from the Daily Mail (UK)
With his eccentric personal life and air of mystery, the flamboyant WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seems to be doing his best to impersonate a James Bond villain.A few more good pieces: Debating the changing nature of protest, Michael Moore "'Leaks Don't Kill People, Secrets Do" , WikiLeaks and 9/11: What if?
How appropriate, then, that he has chosen what looks like an 007 film set as the back-up store for the thousands of confidential emails and documents that have shaken the world. 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.
Nerve centre: Super-servers which act for storage for many companies are also used by WikiLeaks to store its information
U-boat back-up: Submarine engines are used as emergency generators at the Bahnhof internet service provider, in Stockholm, Sweden
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, stroking a white cat.
The disused bunker was reopened in 2008 with its futuristic design the brainchild of Swedish architects Albert France-Lanord, who were inspired by Bond sets created by Sir Kenneth Adams. The brutalist design is softened by plants kept alive by brilliant solar lighting and artificial waterfalls. While on the run from Swedish and American authorities, Assange has had to use this secure base for his files.
Chilly reception: The bunker, drilled into granite under the Vita Berg Park, could withstand a nuclear attack
Plant life: The offices feature lunar-landscape flooring, glass corridors and a 'floating' conference room
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. But the cost of this storage will be very little, because although Assange's team have released several million documents, in data terms this is not a large amount. Everything WikiLeaks has in its possession could probably be stored on a high-capacity memory stick. However, putting it into the trust of this set-up - which any self-respecting Bond villain would be proud of - must surely pander to Julian Assange's huge ego.
Space age: Under Swedish law, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange cannot be prosecuted for publishing the sensitive information
Rock solid: The entrance to the Pionen high-security computer storage facility