ISPA has announced the shortlists for the 2015 Internet Hero and Internet Villain awards at the 17th Annual UK Internet Industry Awards, the ISPAs that takes place on 2nd July.

Surveillance once again dominates the shortlists, with all the candidates for Hero involved in limiting or better regulating surveillance. The shortlists and ultimate winner were decided by ISPA Council, and the nominees are a light-hearted look at the key challenges industry has faced in the past 12 months.

Nominations for the Internet Hero Award, sponsored by cyber security provider F-Secure, include David Anderson QC for his comprehensive and independent report into future surveillance powers, whilst legal challengers to the current communications data regime have also been recognised, as has the Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir Anthony May QC.

For Internet Villain, ISPA has shortlisted the Home Secretary Rt Hon Theresa May MP for continuing to push for extended communications data legislation without yet fully consulting with industry and civil society. Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former MP and Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee makes the list, as do Lords West and King for repeated attempts to reintroduce the Communications Data Bill, despite the recommendations of a Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Announcing the shortlists, ISPA Secretary General Nicholas Lansman 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 ISPA Awards take place on 2nd July 2015 at The Brewery in the City of London. There are eighteen awards, including a 20th Anniversary Award for the individual or organisation that has made the biggest overall impact to the UK Internet industry as the association celebrates its 20th anniversary.

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

  • 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.

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About the ISPA Awards

The 2015 ISPA Awards are the annual internet industry awards and the 2015 ISPAs are set to take place on the 2nd July 2015 at The Brewery in the City of London. There are over forty firms shortlisted across seventeen categories and the full shortlist can be seen here.

We are very happy to announce that Axians Networks are sponsoring the Best Superfast Broadband Award and F-Secure sponsor Internet Hero. Best Business Customer Service Award is sponsored by Halon, the Best VoIP Award is sponsored by Magrathea and the Best Use of Digital is sponsored by Tagadab.