THE UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has released its list of heroes and villains for 2013, and the US PRISM programme is a new entry in the latter category.
News of PRISM has exploded across the internet. A secret deal between government and big business, it is the equivalent of living in a glass house, and has caused a lot of controversy.
It was a very late entry to ISPA's list, and pops up in both the heroes and villains categories in an awards list that is dominated by surveillance scandals.
"The Hero and Villain Awards are the two most anticipated categories at the ISPAs," said ISPA secretary general Nicholas Lansman.
"Given what has happened in the last year, it is no surprise that surveillance dominates this year's shortlists. Thank you to members of the public for their suggestions and I look forward to finding out who wins on the night."
The ISPA Awards will be presented on Thursday, 11 July in London and will see good and bad gongs dished out to people, companies, and perhaps, the PRISM programme.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is ensconced in Hong Kong, is up for the Hero award for turning the tables on PRISM, while PRISM is up for the Villain award because of its sheer scale and betrayal by politicians and government officials of the public trust.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg could win the hero award for his opposition to the Snoopers' Charter, while Home Secretary Theresa May MP is on the villain's list for supporting it.
Also up for a gong for his anti-Snoopers' Charter stance is the Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, and the ISPA said it thinks he is one few MPs to "fully understand the internet".
The villains list includes the aforementioned as well as Bluecoat, "for selling deep packet inspection and other surveillance equipment to unfavourable regimes," and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan because of that country's attitude towards the internet. µ