Feeds

Database containing 1.8m UK postcode locations leaks online

Knock, knock. Who's there?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

An alleged copy of the UK postcode list has tipped up on WikiLeaks.

The whistleblower site claims to currently be hosting a database containing 1,841,177 Blighty postcodes “together with latitude and longitude, grid references, country, district, ward, NHS codes and regions, Ordnance Survey reference, and date of introduction”.

The list is a 241MB plain text file that runs to more than 100,000 pages and was last updated on 8 July. WikiLeaks has zipped the database up to 20MB and made it available for download via the site as well as providing a fast BitTorrent version of the file that can be grabbed over at The Pirate Bay.

According to the Guardian the Royal Mail made about £1.6m from licensing the Postcode Address File (PAF) database in 2007.

This leak online isn’t that significant, however, given that it doesn’t contain the names and/or addresses of houses in each postcode that the PAF holds.

On the other hand, online availability of the PAF could prove a big blow to the Royal Mail, which has repeatedly ignored requests from freedom of information campaigners to publish the postcode database free of charge.

The Register asked the Royal Mail to comment on the leak. A spokeswoman at the firm told us “yes, we do know about it” and added that it would have a statement for us soon.

Campaigners have long argued that the PAF should be freely available to help businesses create services around the taxpayer-funded data, and while this leak might get a few wannabe-web entrepreneurs mildly excited, the real juicy postcode stuff remains locked behind closed doors - for now. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.