It was somewhat ironic that yesterday of all days the Internet Service Providers Awards were held in London. Big Brother Watch were invited to pick up the tongue in cheek award of ‘Internet Villain’ on behalf of the winners (who would obviously not be attending).
The shortlist of finalists were selected by the ISPA Council in recognition of their achievements in hindering the industry. The category stated: “The Internet Villain category recognises individuals or organisations that have upset the Internet industry and hampered its development – those who the industry loves to hate.”
The Internet Villain finalists were:
- Charles Farr, Director of the Office of Security, Home Office For continued attempts to collect communications data in spite of the growing consensus to balance retention of data with fundamental rights.
- Norfolk County Council For failing to rollout superfast broadband to 80% of residents as promised.
- Russian Government For passing one of the most restrictive internet freedom laws in the world.
The Internet Villain 2014 was NSA/GCHQ. On accepting the award, we noted that Big Brother Watch currently has legal papers filed in the EU Court of Human Rights alleging that GCHQ has illegally intruded on the privacy of millions of British and European citizens.
The winners of the Internet Hero award were The Guardian, for their reporting of mass surveillance programmes. Our acting director, Emma Carr, is pictured here with James Ball from The Guardian.