Teenager Blows $33k Of Daddy’s Money On Wikileaks Server

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Father said to be “speechless” at son’s purchase of server used to get leaks online

A 17-year-old won an eBay bid for a historic Wikileaks server, but offered $33,000 of his dad’s money without permission.

ISP Bahnhof put the Dell Poweredge R410 server, which Wikileaks rented for releasing its Cablegate material, hoping to raise money for charities Reporters Without Borders and the 5th of July Foundation.

Jon Karlung, Bahnhof.Wikileaks unhappy at sale

After it sold for $33,000, Bahnhof CEO John Karlung received a call from a man saying he wanted to back out of the deal, as his son had made the bids without permissions.

The father, an industrial maintenance worker, was said to have been “speechless” at learning what his son, a conspiracy theory lover, had done.

Wired reported that the second placed bidder, who offered $32,900, now has the right to buy it.

“It was a surprise, but these things happens,” Karlung told TechWeekEurope. “There are other bidders. But we will evaluate how to go forward with those.”

But, despite the casuses who are benefitting, Wikileaks has expressed its annoyance at the sale. “Bahnhof did not seek permission to auction the WikiLeaks server or to use it for marketing purposes, or to send the proceeds to others,” it tweeted.

“We do not support Bahnhof exploiting the privacy and good name of their clients for marketing purposes,” another tweet read.

But Karlung told us Wikileaks has used the Bahnhof bunker in its own marketing several times. He was supportive of the leaking organisation, however.

“All in all, I think Wikileaks is more needed than ever – and that they do a great job. From our end we wish them the very best,” he added.

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