Feeds

Database containing 1.8m UK postcode locations leaks online

Knock, knock. Who's there?

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.