IPBill It's that time of the year again, and plucky little indie outlet Apple has been nominated for the internet hero of the year award at the 2016 UK Internet Industry Awards, which has also nominated Donald Trump as the villain of the year.
The nominations, which are “based on crowdsourced suggestions from the public with a final shortlist determined by the ISPA Council,” cover the previous twelve months of developments in this arena.
Last year, MPs David Davis and Tom Watson shared the hero award as part of their work against DRIPA, while Home Secretary Theresa May was named as villain for her threatening legislative activities.
Domestic snooping in the UK continues to feature this year, but only in the hero category – presumably May being named villain two years in a row would undercut the value of this extraordinarily prestigious award – where Nicola Blackwood MP was nominated for her Joint Committee's report into the Investigatory Powers Bill.
The report, “which contained sensible recommendations around encryption, equipment interference and a commitment to full cost recovery, to limit the Bill’s impact on the tech sector,” according to her nomination, was published back in February.
More recent opposition also saw MPs (and QCs) Joanna Cherry and Sir Keir Starmer nominated “for their continued scrutiny of the Investigatory Powers Bill as the legislation passes through Parliament at a fast pace,” though of course it has passed completely out of their chamber now.
Apple was also nominated “for defending the fundamental principles of encryption and customer privacy.”
This is intriguing as Apple's activities were not actually internet-based but rather about protecting their proprietary business about a device which had belonged to a mass-murderer. Eventually the FBI got access to the phone and the court proceedings resulted in nothing of particular worth. Still, good on the organisers to recognise Cupertino's efforts.
Outside of the surveillance and security world, Andrew Ferguson, the editor of ThinkBroadband, was nominated “for editing an invaluable resource that explains and maps out broadband to inform consumers.” Well done, Andrew.
Last but not least of the potential heroes, the Web Foundation was also nominated “for working to extend the basic right of connectivity to the 60% of the global population unable to connect to the internet and enjoy the myriad benefits of internet access.”
Venal and Virulent Vermin
Leading the charge is presidential candidate and inter-galactic cock, Donald Trump, who is nominated “for calling on industry to ‘close’ parts of the Internet.”
Late last year Trump attended a rally to pronounce that: “We are losing a lot of people to the Internet.”
“We have to do something,” he pondered, like a willy. “We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening,” Trump added, presumably expecting poo-water might cut the massive numbers of people who are being killed by the internet everyday.
We have to talk to them [about], maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some way. Some people will say, 'Freedom of speech, Freedom of speech'. These are foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people.
Mossack Fonseca joins Trump "for demonstrating poor cyber security practices," though perhaps in these instances those poor practices should merit their placement in the hero category.
Alongside Apple, foreign spookhouse the FBI is also nominated "for attempting to undermine security by compelling technology companies to bypass existing security features."
Inevitably, the anonymous ‘Internet Troll’ "For overstepping the bounds of free speech, threatening the principle of an Internet for all."
Rounding these up is TCYK LLP, "for its heavy-handed ‘speculative invoicing’ campaign aimed at alleged copyright infringers," which plagued Sky to hand over file-sharers' personal details.