« Years ago I was visiting my old friend Cory Doctorow in London, and was lucky enough to catch a talk he gave during a CopyRiot night in a local pub. He was speaking about an incident in the UK where the government lost a whole lot of personal data about UK residents, collected as part of a effort to create a large identity database. Cory used a great analogy that has stuck with me, and is a useful way to think about information collection in general; Information is like Uranium. Uranium, for the most part, is not dangerous at all. It’s a naturally occurring element, it exists everywhere, all around us, even inside of us, distributed far wide in tiny amounts. There is no problem with uranium per se. Heck, for some plants uranium even appears to be a micronutrient, essential for healthy growth, like other vitamins and minerals. However, when you have a lot of uranium in one place, when it’s collected in one place, concentrated and refined, when you have giant pile of refin ed uranium it becomes dangerous, very very dangerous. Doomsday scenario kind of dangerous. **KABOOM** kind of dangerous. »