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ISPA Reveals UK Internet Hero and Villain Shortlist for 2015 Awards

Thursday, June 18th, 2015 (10:00 am) - Score 767
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The UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has today revealed the final shortlist of potential winners for their annual Internet Hero and Internet Villain gongs at the forthcoming 2015 Internet industry awards and it’s no surprise to find that both lists are once again being dominated by Internet snooping.

Last year saw The Guardian newspaper win the Hero award for their extensive reporting of mass Internet surveillance programmes, while the Villain was GCHQ/NSA for being largely responsible for some of those same surveillance programmes. Sadly the same issues that dominated last year’s shortlist are still very much a problem today.

Nicholas Lansman, ISPAs Secretary General, said:

The Internet Hero and Villain awards this year, which included nominations from the public via social media, reflect the ongoing debate around privacy and security. While the categories are light-hearted in nature, there is a serious point here: it is crucial that a full and open discussion is led by Parliament to create a proportionate framework that balances privacy, security and the UK’s status as a leading digital economy.”

The 2015 Internet Hero Shortlist

David Anderson QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation
For a hugely important report into investigatory powers that makes a strong and reasoned case for a new set of rules to govern surveillance powers.

Rt Hon David Davis & Tom Watson MPs
For their legal challenge to guarantee the privacy of their constituents and their efforts to raise the level of debate in Parliament on communications data issues.

Sir Anthony May, Interception of Communications Commissioner
For his continued work on holding the Government to account.

Privacy International, GreenNet and Plaintiffs
For their legal challenges that revealed some of the extent of GCHQ surveillance and led to changes in the law.

The 2015 Internet Villain Shortlist

Internet.org
For compromising net neutrality and the open Internet.

Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Home Secretary
For forging ahead with communications data legislation that would significantly increase capabilities without adequate consultation with industry and civil society.

Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind ex-MP, Former Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee
For placing unwarranted blame on the Internet and technology industry.

Lords West of Spithead and King of Bridgwater
For repeated attempts to reintroduce the Communications Data Bill before a new round of consultation with industry as the Joint Parliamentary Committee called for.

Given the choice, we’d pick David Davis MP and Tom Watson MP as Hero’s for standing up to snooping laws via a Judicial Review, while Theresa May MP would almost certainly get our vote for Villain of the year.

In any case the final the winners will all be unveiled during an event held at The Brewery in the City of London on Thursday 2nd July 2015.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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