The finalists for this year’s Internet Hero and Villain have been announced, following nominations from the public and a final decision making process from the ISPA Council.

The Hero nomination is given to an individual or organisation that has been see to have done most good, while the villain is a light-hearted award for those who have been seen to hinder the industry.

This year’s heroes include Broadband for the Rural North, for their work in bringing high speed internet into remote rural communities, and Reg Bailey, for his review into childhood sexualisation which found that active choice people is preferable to default content filtering.

This year’s villains include EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht for pushing IPR enforcement through ACTA and Goldeneye International for their speculative invoicing campaign.

Nicholas Lansman the ISPA Secretary General said, “We have had a record number of nominations this year from the public so I would like to thank everyone that emailed and tweeted their ideas. Unfortunately, not all could be included and the ISPA Council has had a difficult task whittling them down to a handful of finalists.

The Hero nominations are always a pleasure to announce and this year’s strong contenders have been chosen for promoting, developing or defending the interests of the Internet industry. The Villain is a light hearted look at those that have upset the industry or hampered its development and we look forward to announcing the winners on the 3rd July.”

The full list of finalists and explanations for their nominations can be found below. Last year’s Internet Hero was Prof. Ian Hargreaves for his review on making IP fitter for a digital age and the Villain went to the law firm ACS Law. Last year’s winners and finalists can be reviewed in full here.

The ISPA Council will review the list of nominations and choose the winners which will be announced on July 3 at the Park Lane Sheraton Hotel. Tickets to the event are available and can be purchased from the awards website here.

For more information go to

Internet Hero Finalists

* Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) for bringing high speed internet into remote rural communities, setting an example for others to follow
* Ofcom - for its independent assessment of the website blocking measures in the DEA, which they found to be neither “practical” nor “desirable” and “trivial” to circumvent
* Reg Bailey – for his government review into childhood sexualisation which found that giving parents and carers an active choice over what content is suitable for children and young people is preferable to default content filtering
* Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague MP – for recognising, at the London Cyber Conference, that the future internet must be without ‘government control or censorship’ where ‘innovation and competition flourish’ and ‘investment and enterprise are rewarded’
* Court of Justice of the European Union - for its verdict on the Scarlet-Sabam case, which found that an injunction requiring a “complicated” and “costly” filter for copyright infringing material would not strike a fair balance between “the right to protect intellectual property and the right to conduct business”

Internet Villain Finalists

* The International Telecommunications Union – for its internet governance land-grab which could lead to a less open and free internet, controlled by governments in a top-down manner
* Karel De Gucht and Directorate-General Trade - for pushing IPR enforcement standards through ACTA and disregarding the concerns from EU citizens and European Parliament in relation to the threats against fundamental rights
* U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith - for introducing SOPA: an ill-thought out, draconian piece of legislation that would have stifled innovation and free speech online
* Goldeneye International – for following in the dubious footsteps of previous speculative invoicing, by demanding £700 in damages from account holders who had allegedly downloaded copyright infringing material, relying solely on IP matching and claiming that bill payers were liable for any infringement


Notes to the editor:

The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) is the UK’s Trade Association for providers of Internet services.

ISPA brings together the UK internet industry to provide essential support through innovation, knowledge and experience in order to benefit the UK economy and society. Promoting collaboration and constructive dialogue between its members and the wider internet community, ISPA is an all-important driving force for the industry and relevant stakeholders. For a list of members or other information about ISPA, please consult the website:

The views expressed in this release are those of the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) and do not necessarily reflect the corporate policies of the individual companies that are members of the Association or other organisations that may be mentioned in the release. For further editorial information please contact the ISPA Press Office (020 3397 3308).

About The ISPA Awards:

The ISPAs - the UK Internet industry awards - are unique as they are awarded to people and organisations in the industry by their peers and reflect the broad nature of the service provider sector.

The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA UK) has been organising the UK Internet Industry Awards since 1999 to herald the best of the Internet industry and to celebrate innovation and best practice. In 2002 the awards were dubbed The ISPAs.