London (BBC): The UK government has started selling off internet addresses that it no longer uses. The first group of 150,000 addresses has been snapped up by a Norwegian firm called Altibox for about £600,000. The addresses are becoming valuable because the net has almost outgrown the addressing scheme it adopted in the 1970s. If the UK government sells off all the surplus addresses it owns it could get up to £15m.

 However, some fear that as the addresses are shared out more widely, data could go astray. The surplus addresses are part of a much bigger block of 16 million addresses given to the Department of Work and Pensions in 1993.