Steve Linford and Spamhaus were crowned the Internet's heroes of 2003 at the Internet Service Providers' Association's annual awards ceremony in London last night. ISPA said Spamhaus was chosen "for educating people about spam, endeavouring to thwart spammers and urging the US to reject the opt-out approach to spam legislation".
The spam-fighting organisation was nominated against a list of public sector figures, including e-minister Stephen Timms. The award reflects how much of problem spam has become, and how strong anti-spam feeling is.
Although Spamhaus looked a clear and popular winner in its category, having to choose a villain from the list of nominees is not one we'd relish. Those up for opprobrium included The Home office, for its AntiTerrorism, Crime and Security Act, and the RIAA, listed for equally obvious reasons.
In the end, Verisign was named and shamed as the year's arch wrongdoer. The industry poured scorn on the company "for their presumption that they own the internet and the domain name system hijacking scandal", according to an ISPA spokesman.
Mistral walked away with the Best Hosting Provider award, while Tiscali won Best Metered Provider, for its "impressive technical performance". Blueyonder walked away with the prize for Best Un-Metered Dial-up, and Bulldog and Easynet got the gold in the Broadband categories.
The rest of the winners, and all the nominees, are detailed in full here. ®