UK Government Uses BitTorrent to Share Public Spending Data

The UK Government has discovered that BitTorrent is the cheapest and most effective method of sharing large files with the public. As part of the UK Prime Minister's transparency initiative, the Treasury has today released several torrents with details on how the Government spends the public's money.

BitTorrent is undoubtedly the fastest way to send large files to many people on the Internet. When publishing data on how the public’s money is spent, BitTorrent is a particularly good choice since it also saves a lot of bandwidth costs and thus hard cash.

Today, the UK Treasury decided to publish several data sets detailing how the tax money of UK citizens was spent in the last two years. Thanks to the Internet it is easier for the Government to be transparent about such issues, and thanks to BitTorrent the public can help with distributing the files.

“For too long the previous Government acted as if the public had no right to know where their hard earned taxes were spent. Today we have lifted that veil of secrecy by releasing detailed spending figures dating back to 2008,” Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury commented.

Although the four torrent files that have been posted don’t link to huge files (between 32 and 78 MB uncompressed), it is good to see that the Government isn’t shying away from using BitTorrent. If anything, this move will boost BitTorrent’s image. This is much needed since all the press about lawsuits have made BitTorrent synonymous with piracy for the majority of the mainstream public.

The torrent files have been posted today on data.gov.uk and the public is welcome to share them on The Pirate Bay or other high profile torrent sites. As a tracker, Amazon’s S3 service has been added, which most likely means that there will be always some high speed seeds available for the files.

By using BitTorrent to share information with the public, the UK government is in good company. NASA too uses BitTorrent for their ‘Visible Earth’ project, a massive library of high resolution images of the earth. In addition, several Universities use BitTorrent powered systems to update their computers.

Perhaps it’s time for Hollywood to look into BitTorrent as well, it sure sounds like a great technology to share films on the Internet.

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