£21,000 is, on the face of it, a lot of money for a server. Especially when it's a Dell model from a couple years ago, and even more so when it's been bought by your conspiracy-nut son, using your credit card, without your knowledge.
The server, which belonged Wikileaks' former host, Swedish ISP Bahnhof, was being auctioned off (sans American government secrets, it should be noted), to raise money for charity.
Unsurprisingly, they were delighted when a winning bid of £21,000 came in from sunny Lisbon. However, a couple hours after the auction ended, the supposed-winner contacted Bahnhof to try and back out of the auction, as the winning bid was placed by a 17-year-old borrowing his Daddy's credit card. Bahnhof agreed to play it nice, and reverted to the second-placed bidder, who gets the server for the bargain-basement price of £20,800.
For their part, Wikileaks weren't particularly happy about the sale, claiming that Bahnhof 'greatly exaggerated' the part played by the server, which was never a "primary" machine, although Wikileaks did admit that it played a part in the hosting leaked US Iraq documents.
The more important lesson here, though: kids, if you;re going to nick your parent's credit card to buy things on the internet, you're better off sticking to iTunes and porn. Twenty-grand servers are a bit obvious. [Wired]