ISPA has revealed the shortlist for this year’s Internet Hero & Villain, the longest running awards categories at the ISPA Awards, the ISPAs.

These categories, sponsored by fulfilment experts NetLynk Direct, go to those who ISPA Council feel have helped or hindered the internet industry in the past 12 months, with previous winners including the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP, Ofcom, and rural broadband pioneers B4RN.

The 2014 list sees the Guardian newspaper nominated for their lead role in reporting of the PRISM surveillance programmes, and the wider Snowden revelations. They are up against the Internet Matters campaign, a pan-industry initiative to inform and educate customers on the issue of online safety. The other two nominees are broadband related, with INCA nominated for championing the role of independent alternative networks and the Public Accounts Committee/National Audit Office for holding the government to account over the broadband programme.

The Internet Villain shortlist is dominated by surveillance. Home Office mandarin Charles Farr has continued to defend mass surveillance programmes and finds himself nominated as a result alongside the NSA/GCHQ for their surveillance activities. The Russian Government makes the list due to a new law that gives the government even more control over content, restriction of freedoms and increased data collection. Norfolk County Council makes the list, for their failure to meet superfast broadband targets as promised.

ISPA Secretary General Nicholas Lansman said “the Internet Hero and Villain shortlists show the importance of getting internet policy right and to reflect on the serious issues we and the public have faced. Surveillance, privacy and getting fast internet are vital for the country, with the internet a huge driver of growth. I look forward to finding out who wins these light-hearted awards on 10th July.”

The ISPA Awards are a good way to look back at another big year for the internet industry, as more and more people take up superfast, more services move to IP-first or IP-only. ISPA has been busy acting as the voice of the industry across many areas, from broadband and online safety, to making sure the internet industry is heard in important debates around copyright, media regulation and consumer issues.

The ISPA winners will be revealed at the ISPA Awards ceremony on 10th July at the Park Lane Sheraton Hotel. Tickets can be booked here.

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Internet Hero 2014 shortlist:

  • The Guardian For their reporting of mass surveillance programmes.
  • Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) For their continued championing of alternative networks.
  • Internet Matters For their campaign to inform users of the importance of online safety.
  • Public Accounts Committee/ National Audit Office For holding the government to account on the broadband programme.


Internet Villain 2014 shortlist:

  • 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.
  • NSA/GCHQ For running the widest covert electronic surveillance programme in the world.
  • 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.


About ISPA:

The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) was established in 1995 and currently has 200 members and is the voice of the UK internet industry to Government, parliament, regulators and the media.

For a list of members or other information about ISPA, please visit our website on or follow us on twitter @ISPAUK. You can also reach us by phone on 0203 397 3308.

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.


About The ISPA Awards:

The 2014 ISPA Awards will take place on 10th July 2014 at the Park Lane Hotel. These will be the16th internet industry awards, with the ISPAs running since 1999. The Internet Hero and Internet Villain Awards are sponsored by Netlynk Direct. The Best VoIP Award is sponsored by Magrathea Telecom, Best Wireless is sponsored by LinITX  with hosting specialists Tagadab sponsoring the Best Use of Digital category. Wick Hill is sponsoring the Internet Safety and Security Award.