Some are reporting that WikiLeaks.org is now being hosted from a Cold War-era Swedish bunker built into a fucking mountain, but at this point, it has become difficult to tell where the WikiLeaks’ website is actually hosted. Wikipedia says the organization’s site was moved to servers in France following denial of service attacks and a brief stay with Amazon. According to Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, the site is now being hosted from Thor Data Center in Iceland. It may very well be the case that WikiLeaks’ hosting is spread out among some or all of these locations.
What is more clear is the accuracy of jokes surrounding the bunker story, those being that founder Julian Assange is some kind of Bond villain.
Everything fits. He’s got a funny accent, he looks like an anorexic albino, and governments the world over can’t stand him. More importantly, his reputation is rapidly evolving into legend, with it difficult to discern reality from rumour and smear. He has been dogged by allegations for everything from violation of espionage laws to sex crimes, and his location is often a secret.
That’s not to say that Julian Assange is bad or evil. I’d argue that he’s about the most amusing person alive, his cause is noble, and his views radically just. He’s not out to destroy the free world, he’s out to liberate it from the corrupt forces of institutionalized power that have sought to conceal and manipulate for their own interests.
If Assange is a Bond villain, then he is the real world’s version. Unencumbered by the necessity to sell tickets and toe the nationalistic line, this is the story in which Queen and Country have become the enemies of their own people, and the crazed loner with the the world-destroying doomsday device is on the right side of history.
And what of that doomsday device? Assange doesn’t control any EMP-shooting satellites, nor has he developed a toxin made from orchids. Of course, in this instance, we are talking about information. It is the truth with which Assange has repeatedly captured headlines the world over. WikiLeaks’ activity has become so important that each new major release does not simply warrant “a story,” it warrants updates, follow-ups, and opinion pieces. These leaks chain together and cause subsequent events.
Governments supposedly behaving in the best interests of their people have admitted to the heinousness of their acts simply by protesting these reveals. These are groups threatened by the open revelation of activities which include brutal, unnecessary killings by military personnel and insulting comments made about foreign heads of state. The woeful hypocrisy of the United States government has been unmasked. Thanks to WikiLeaks, the world now knows that a country which feels it necessary to entirely deprive airline passengers of their privacy has repeatedly hidden damning and embarrassing evidence of its own misconduct.
The truth is that Assange’s doomsday device is exactly as dangerous as his detractors claim, but only for them. It is currently rumoured that the list of WikiLeaks’ “victims” will soon grow to include more ugly entrenched power, American corporations. Let us hope that Julian Assange’s lap cat stays healthy, his henchmen numerous, and his lair mysterious. Eventually, an educated public may come to recognize true villainy.