ISPA announces internet hero and villain nominations

Friday, May 27th 2011
Twitter and Rory Stewart MP are in the running for the hero of the year prize.
ISPA announces internet hero and villain nominations
The Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) has unveiled the shortlist for the individuals and organisations that have had the most positive and negative effects on the web in 2011.

Ahead of the body's UK Internet Industry Awards ceremony on July 7th, the ISPA confirmed the nine nominations for its first ever internet hero and villain accolades.

The selection process was decided by a public vote that closed on Monday (May 23rd).

Among those in the running for the 'hero' prize is Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart, who made the list thanks to his "trailblazing efforts" to bring broadband to his rural constituency.

Social networking site Twitter was praised for its role in helping people communicate throughout the series of uprisings in north Africa and the Middle East, commonly referred to as the Arab Spring.

Professor Ian Hargreaves, the author of a report on ways that internet protocol can be "made fitter for the digital age", was also selected.

Earlier this month, the ISPA suggested BT and TalkTalk should be up for the hero honour after taking the controversial Digital Economy Act to a judicial review, but the two broadband providers failed to make the final list.

Legal organisation ACS Law looks to be among the favourites for the villain of the year prize, after acting on behalf of certain rights holders to demand payments from people believed - despite a lack of concrete evidence - to have illegally downloaded copyright material.

The firm was prosecuted for threatening broadband users and bringing the legal profession into disrepute, as well as failing to secure the personal details of the people it accused.

Judge Colin Birss QC, who heard the case against ACS Law and described the company as "chaotic and lamentable", is another of the nominees for hero of the year.

Lord Mandelson picked up the villain prize in 2010 for ignoring better regulation principles to make amendments to an open consultation.

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