Accountancy firms and high-profile companies are facing up to the threat of anti-capitalist protesters and have opted to keep their computer systems in a former Cold War nuclear bunker in Kent.
The bunker, a former RAF control centre designed to withstand chemical and biological warfare, has been turned into the UK’s prime security location for internet technology assets.
Hundreds of companies, like Sun Microsystems, Scottish Widows and BTCellnet, have already installed their internet systems in the bespoke airtight rooms 300ft below ground level where access is only permitted to the few.
Ben Laurie, one of The Bunker’s owners and renowned cryptologist, said: ‘Using cryptography we have found ways of stopping theft while data is in transit. But people can physically steal things, too.’
Companies are concerned at the growth of anti-capitalist demonstrations and the damage protests like those on May Day in London have caused.
The Bunker is the brainchild of AL Digital Communications, an internet development and consultancy company set up by brothers Ben and Adam Laurie and Dominic Hawken.
In 1998 and just seven years after the Ash-based national air defence site underwent a complete upgrade the AL Digital team bid for it.
AL claims the bunker not only protects against terrorist attack, but also against electro-magnetic pulses, electronic eavesdropping and solar flares.
Dr Ian Angell, professor of information systems at the London School of Economics, said: ‘Companies are realising they need two sets of security. The idea of security is not just about technological security anymore. There is also physical attack.’