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Bahnhof AB
GenreInternet service provider
Founded1994 (1994)
FounderOscar Swartz
HeadquartersTunnelgatan 2, 111 37, ,
Key people
Jon Karlung (CEO)
Andreas Norman (COB)
ProductsInternet service provider
Revenue825,165,000 SEK (2016)[1][2]
Number of employees
Primary ASN8473
Peering policySelective
Traffic Levels500-1000 Gbps[3]

Bahnhof (German for "railway station") is a Swedish Internet service provider (ISP) founded in 1994 by Oscar Swartz in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the country's first independent ISP. Today the company is represented in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Uppsala, Borlänge, Malmö and Umeå.

WikiLeaks used[4] to be hosted in a Bahnhof data center inside the ultra-secure bunker Pionen, which is buried inside the White Mountains in Stockholm.[5][6]


Bahnhof was founded in 1994 by Oscar Swartz. It was one of Sweden's first ISPs.[7] The company is publicly traded since December 2007 under the name BAHN-B (Aktietorget).[8] On 11 September 2008, Bahnhof opened a new computer center inside the former civil defence center Pionen in the White Mountains in Stockholm, Sweden.[9][10]


On 10 March 2005, the Swedish police confiscated four servers placed in the Bahnhof premises, hoping to find copyrighted material. Although these servers were located near Bahnhof's server park (in a network lab area) the company claimed they were not their property since they had been privately purchased by staff. They further presented evidence showing the material on these servers had been planted there by someone hired by Svenska Antipiratbyrån, a Swedish anti-copyright infringement organisation.[11]

In 2009, Bahnhof generated controversy by failing to store the IP addresses of customers, in order to defeat the Swedish government's new laws on illegal file-sharing, transposing the EU IPRED regulations, which enabled ISPs to retain data longer than the data protection regulations would allow, in order for them to be available on police request.[12]

After the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks was kicked off of Amazon Web Services in December 2010, it bought server space from Bahnhof, as its chairman Jon Karlung revealed in press interviews after in the light of the new controversy created by the leaks about the War in Afghanistan, even showing journalists the two servers on which the data was held.[4][6] The chairman said that WikiLeaks is treated like any other of Bahnhof's clients.[citation needed]

In April 2014, the CJEU struck down the Data Retention Directive. PTS, Sweden's telecommunications regulator, told Swedish ISPs and telcos that they would no longer have to retain call records and internet metadata.[13] However, after two government investigations found that Sweden's data retention law did not break its obligations to the European Convention on Human Rights, the PTS reversed course.[14] Most of Sweden's major telecommunications companies complied immediately, though Tele2 lodged an unsuccessful appeal. Bahnhof was the one holdout and it was given an order to comply by a 24 November deadline or face a five million kronor ($680,000) fine.[15] In response Bahnhof offered all their customers a free VPN service.[16]

In October 2018, Elsevier secured a court order that required Swedish ISPs to block access to Sci-Hub websites. While complying with the order, Bahnhof also soft-blocked access to Elsevier website.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Bahnhof AB". CorporateInformation. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Årsredovisning 2016: 2016" [End of year report, 2016] (PDF) (in Swedish). Bahnhof AB. 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  3. ^ "PeeringDB".
  4. ^ a b "Inside the Mountain That Used to House Wikileaks's Servers". Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  5. ^ Baltzer, Harald (30 August 2010). "Wikileaks flyttar till "kärnvapensäker" anläggning" [WikiLeaks moves to "nuclear weapons secure" facility] (in Swedish). IDG Sweden. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  6. ^ a b "WikiLeaks' new home is in a former bomb shelter". Los Angeles Times. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  7. ^ Goldberg, Daniel (15 April 2010). "Jon Karlung kliver av" [Jon Karlung steps down] (in Swedish). IDG Sweden. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Årsredovisning för räkenskapsåret 2007" [Annual Report for fiscal year 2007] (PDF) (in Swedish). Bahnhof AB. 2008. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  9. ^ Larsson, Linus (9 December 2008). "Serversafari 30 meter under jorden" [Serversafari 30 meters under the earth] (in Swedish). IDG Sweden. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  10. ^ Hammar, Ian (10 September 2008). "Bahnhof spränger Vita bergen" [Bahnhof blasts the White Mountains]. (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  11. ^ Olsson, Caroline (22 March 2005). "Antipiratbyrån anklagas för piratverksamhet" [Antipiratbyrån accused of piracy]. Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  12. ^ "ISP sabotages file sharing law". The Local. 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  13. ^ Essers, Loek (11 April 2014). "Sweden won't enforce data retention law against ISP that deleted metadata". PCWorld.
  14. ^ Tung, Liam (29 October 2014). "Swedish data retention back in full swing minus one ISP". ZDNet.
  15. ^ Meyer, David (29 October 2014). "Swedish ISP Bahnhof threatened with fine for not storing customer data for law enforcement". GigaOm.
  16. ^ "Bahnhof aktiverar "plan B": erbjuder fri anonymisering" (in Swedish). Bahnhof AB. 16 November 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Elsevier Forces ISP to Block Access to Sci-Hub, ISP Blocks Elsevier as Well". The Wire. Retrieved 15 March 2019.

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