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WikiLeaks servers could fire up Stockholm church
Entrance to Bahnhof server facility Pionen White Mountains in Stockholm, Dec. 3

WikiLeaks servers could fire up Stockholm church

Published: 25 Jan 2011 11:35 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Jan 2011 11:35 GMT+01:00

Heat produced by hard-working WikiLeaks servers housed underground in Stockholm may be used to help warm up a local church, according to a proposal from the head internet service provider Bahnhof.

Bahnhof operates an underground server facility in a former military control room located under Vitabergsparken on Södermalm in Stockholm.

Among the thousands of servers housed in the Bahnhof facility, which is sometimes still referred by its military codename, Pionen (Peony), are two belonging to whistleblower website WikiLeaks.

Almost 30 metres above the facility is the Sofia Church, a towering facility built in 1906 that represents the highest point in Vitabergsparken.

"We use a lot of electricity to operate our servers and warmth is a byproduct of all that electricity," Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung told The Local.

"The church is right above us, so we thought it maybe we could help warm up the church with our excess heat," he said.

While Karlung couldn't say exactly how much electricity the facility used, he said the electricity bill comes in at around 500,000 kronor ($75,800) per month.

According to Karlung's proposal, the church could invest in the equipment necessary to bring the excess heat to the building and Bahnhof would in turn donate the heat free of charge.

He added that there are other buildings in the area which could also be on the receiving end of Bahnhof's excess heat.

"This isn't a new concept. It's sort of like a geothermal heating system or a district heating system. The idea is to move the excess heat someplace where it is needed," said Karlung.

Karlung also mused over the meaning of having WikiLeaks servers helping to heat a house of worship.

"WikiLeaks is concerned with the truth and there is a Christian saying about the truth and life," he said with a laugh.

"But our role is to be like a modern postal service and remain impartial. WikiLeaks is one of many clients, but it's fun having them as a client. We're glad that they're a client," Karlung added.

Moreover, it would take more than WikiLeaks to keep churchgoers warm as they sat in the pews at Sofia Church.

"WikiLeaks has two servers, so they wouldn't be enough to heat the whole church, but they could certainly heat part of the church," said Karlung.

So far, however, the church has had a decidedly chilly response to Karlung's warming proposal.

"I've been in contact with someone at the church locally and with the central organisation of the Church of Sweden, but they don't seem interested for some reason. Perhaps they have a problem with getting heat from 'down below,'" he said.

Stephan Palmqvist, the facilities manager of Sofia Church, explained that a number of issues needed to be addressed before WikiLeaks-generated warmth found its way to the church's sanctuary.

"We only need the heat in the winter, but the excess heat would be sent year-round, so that's something we'd then have to deal with," he told The Local.

While Palmqvist didn't mention any concerns on the part of the church with accepting heat generated by the controversial whistleblower website, he said the initial investment could be hard to justify.

"The question is whether or not we want to invest in something that might not be permanent. There's no guarantee that Bahnhof will be around in a year," he said.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:51 January 25, 2011 by UScitizen
So, Wikileaks is going to put the heat on a church! That's really great that they're doing something useful for a change. But the bottom line is, since wikileaks is releasing all these documents about the US, and that's what's generating the heat, the church should thank the US government for helping with their heating bill.
15:13 January 25, 2011 by blondelover
fire up church, !! please check the grammar and phrases before you publish in web doing typo error is ok for some extent. but using inappropriate words shows how lame is editing ----

stop using google translator for swedish to english .... ha ha
16:57 January 25, 2011 by calebian22
Why not? Wikileaks blows a lot of hot air.
20:09 January 25, 2011 by organismasawhole
Whistle blowers, or people that work in the various departments of government, or military are blowing the hot air then. Wikileaks is simply a conduit of the heat...
20:10 January 25, 2011 by BobWas
The church would be benefitting from ill-gotten gains, aka stolen goods.
21:00 January 25, 2011 by Nemesis
Ah, the wages of sin:)
21:38 January 25, 2011 by coot
So, this has absolutely nothing to do with wikileaks, except that the web hosting service can say "wikileaks" to get a little publicity...
22:59 January 25, 2011 by aaww
wow wow, how nice is that
06:55 January 26, 2011 by wenddiver
Supposed Wikileaks got ahold of the wrong documents, I mean something really sensitive andone of many intelligence agencies had to blow up those servers. They might get more warmth than they want. I wouldn't get nvolved with anything illegal or that might pit you against any nations Spy services, they all play pretty rough when they have too.
10:03 January 26, 2011 by gunnar-mobimation
Heating for the church is inappropriate if the excess energy comes from an activity of THEFT, strongly against one of the cornerstone rules of christianity.

You should not take possession of things that belongs to someone else.

Like how porn conglomerate PRIVATE tried to buy a piece of land out in the east of Stockholm archipelago some years ago. With the plan to open up a nightclub for related pleasures. Only problem the nearest neighbor, likewise owner of the property was a church ! Due to the nature of the planned activities the offer was refused by church officials. And I expect the same response here.
11:01 January 26, 2011 by theTRUTH4u
The government should SUPPORT the Wikileaks operation to gain some power and control of the Swedish media!

Cut the tax money to all the Iraqie immigrant programs AND SEND THEM HOME! We are tired of the rag heads taking over our country and we don't want to spend the tax money on something useless and that deteriorates our own culture and morale!

Those moscs are useless and should be torn down - has nothing to do with our culture.

Send them home in busloads and support the Wikileaks! Yeahh!

Iraq and Iran is NOT Sweden's problem. Get real and wake up you politicians who waste our hard earned tax money!
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