Sounds rather like an opportunistic power grab to me.
The fallout from an eight-month-old cyber attack on a county in Long Island, New York has devolved into mud-slinging as leaders try to figure out just what is going on. Suffolk County was hit with a ransomware attack in early September 2022, which led county executive Steve Bellone to issue nine separate emergency declarations …
-> The man behind a popular website that allowed cyber criminals to fake their caller ID location has been sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison... making or supplying articles for use in fraud
If he had stabbed somebody he would likely have got 5 years at most. Or even nothing at all.
"personally identifiable information like addresses, insurance numbers and other contact details."
Unlike the good ol' USofA, having you NI number out in the wild is nowhere as near as bad as a Social Security Number in the US. Apart from work, the taxman and pension, I'm struggling to remember where else it's used. Unlike the SSN where it's used to identify if you want to get almost anything requirinh even the most basic of checks.