Internet Villain face-off: Spy queen Theresa May v Twit-hate Turkish PM

Find out who won best-baddie gong at Blighty's annual ISP awards bash


And so to Piccadilly, London, where the great, the good and the downright drunk and rowdy gathered for the 15th Internet Service Providers' Association awards - which this year saw the title of Internet Villain handed to Mr Censorship AKA Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.

But Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May - whose controversial Communications Data Bill has been pilloried by telcos, privacy campaigners and Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg - missed out on the accolade, after being shortlisted for the gong.

May may not be considered so much of a threat anymore, however. After all, Clegg eventually (and almost certainly temporarily) silenced the Home Sec by rejecting her plans to push through legislation to massively ramp up surveillance of UK citizens' internet activity.

Meanwhile, Erdogan became a clear contender for the award after recently labelling social networks a "menace to society" for supposedly spreading misinformation, or rather information that he really didn't want Turkish people to share with the world.

Last month, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Istanbul to attack government plans to demolish a public park to build a shopping centre. And news and rumours about the marches quickly spread on Twitter, thereby galvanising protests across Turkey, which prompted Erdogan to claim that "the best examples of lies can be found" on the micro-blogging site.

Blaming the interwebs for society's ills and spills is wicked, according to the ISPA judges*, and apparently much worse behaviour than the other nominees on the list: America's super-snoop PRISM programme, Deep Packet Inspection outfit Bluecoat for selling the kit to questionable regimes and the aforementioned May and her dastardly super-snoop plans.

As ever, the ISPA awards ceremony offered an antidote to the haters and hated by coming over all warm and fluffy about what the telco industry considered to be worthy internet hotshots.

This year, the finalists competing for that particular gold star were Clegg for successfully battling the Home Sec's Snoopers' Charter, Edward Snowden for blowing that whistle, Spamhaus for squishing a bloody massive DDoS attack and Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert - a politico who regularly tugged May's chain over the hated comms data bill.

And it woz Huppert wot won it.

On receiving the Internet Hero award, the MP told the crowd that it was important to have people like himself in the House of Commons who can actually grasp some of the policy issues that affect ISPs. He also warned that May's surveillance proposals could rise again, describing them as a "zombie bill".

Other winners on the night included: BSkyB for Best Consumer Fixed Broadband; Plusnet for Best Consumer Customer Service; Catalyst2 for Customer Choice Award and KC for Internet Safety & Security.

The Internet Watch Foundation missed out on a gong but was commended for its "integral" work at helping to "keep the internet safe".

Meanwhile, those inebriated sorts among the 300-strong guest list at the do appeared to have got a head start on everyone else by probably partaking in a bit of daytime drinking (you know who you are) - which might have been a wise decision given that the booze ran dry once the dishing out of awards process actually began.

It was the surprise alcohol rationing that led to the largest groan of the night, but it at least meant your correspondent didn't suffer a squiffy trip up the steps to dish out the award for Best Business Fixed Broadband to wholesale ISP Entanet. ®

* Full disclosure: I was one of the judges at this year's awards ceremony, but I had no involvement in selecting the Internet Villain and Hero winners.

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • These Rapoo webcams won't blow your mind, but they also won't break the bank

    And they're almost certainly better than a laptop jowel-cam

    Review It has been a long 20 months since Lockdown 1.0, and despite the best efforts of Google and Zoom et al to filter out the worst effects of built-in laptop webcams, a replacement might be in order for the long haul ahead.

    With this in mind, El Reg's intrepid reviews desk looked at a pair of inexpensive Rapoo webcams in search for an alternative to the horror of our Dell XPS nose-cam.

    Rapoo sent us its higher-end XW2K, a 2K 30fps device and, at the other end of the scale, the 720p XW170. Neither will break the bank, coming in at around £40 and £25 respectively from online retailers, but do include some handy features, such as autofocus and a noise cancelling microphone.

    Continue reading
  • It's one thing to have the world in your hands – what are you going to do with it?

    Google won the patent battle against ART+COM, but we were left with little more than a toy

    Column I used to think technology could change the world. Google's vision is different: it just wants you to sort of play with the world. That's fun, but it's not as powerful as it could be.

    Despite the fact that it often gives me a stomach-churning sense of motion sickness, I've been spending quite a bit of time lately fully immersed in Google Earth VR. Pop down inside a major city centre – Sydney, San Francisco or London – and the intense data-gathering work performed by Google's global fleet of scanning vehicles shows up in eye-popping detail.

    Buildings are rendered photorealistically, using the mathematics of photogrammetry to extrude three-dimensional solids from multiple two-dimensional images. Trees resolve across successive passes from childlike lollipops into complex textured forms. Yet what should feel absolutely real seems exactly the opposite – leaving me cold, as though I've stumbled onto a global-scale miniature train set, built by someone with too much time on their hands. What good is it, really?

    Continue reading
  • Why Cloud First should not have to mean Cloud Everywhere

    HPE urges 'consciously hybrid' strategy for UK public sector

    Sponsored In 2013, the UK government heralded Cloud First, a ground-breaking strategy to drive cloud adoption across the public sector. Eight years on, and much of UK public sector IT still runs on-premises - and all too often - on obsolete technologies.

    Today the government‘s message boils down to “cloud first, if you can” - perhaps in recognition that modernising complex legacy systems is hard. But in the private sector today, enterprises are typically mixing and matching cloud and on-premises infrastructure, according to the best business fit for their needs.

    The UK government should also adopt a “consciously hybrid” approach, according to HPE, The global technology company is calling for the entire IT industry to step up so that the public sector can modernise where needed and keep up with innovation: “We’re calling for a collective IT industry response to the problem,” says Russell MacDonald, HPE strategic advisor to the public sector.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021