THE UK INTERNET Service Providers Association (ISPA) has handed out its annual Heroes and Villains awards, crowning Apple with glory for its stance against iPhone unlocking, and slamming Mossack Fonseca for its poor internet security.
These are always highly contested awards, and the Villain selection this year must have been hard to work through. Mossack Fonseca is the firm that exposed a lot of people who choose to move their money in mysterious ways.
The firm was up against competition including patent trolls, which we all know are a big internet problem, Donald Trump and the FBI.
"Mossack Fonseca (of Panama Papers fame) won the Internet Villain for its poor cyber security practices demonstrating the importance of sensitive data breaches," said ISPA.
The organisation later told the INQUIRER that Trump was nominated for suggesting that parts of the internet should be closed down.
Much nicer to consider is the award for the Hero. By now we all know the stance that Apple took when the firm was asked to build an iPhone backdoor.
Apple beat other privacy advocates, which suggests a theme for the awards this year.
"Apple was named as the Internet Hero for defending the fundamental principle of encryption and protecting customer security. The win reinforces how important issues around surveillance, privacy and encryption are to the industry," said ISPA.
Also nominated for the Hero award was Joanna Cherry QC MP, who gave important evidence and was a campaigner against the Investigatory Powers Bill, and Nicola Blackwood MP, chairwoman of the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee that produced a critical report of the bill.
The ISPA awards 2016 gave Best Consumer Broadband Provider to Relish, and Best Dedicated Hosting Provider to Memsnet.
Vodafone won a gong for a Christmas promotional campaign based on a turkey, and the UK Safer Internet Centre was applauded for its online security work.
"A big congratulations to all the winners at the 18th ISPA Awards. A huge range of companies won this year, showing the continued diversity, innovation and competitiveness of the UK internet industry in what has been an eventful year for the sector," said ISPA secretary general Nick Lansman.
"The Hero and Villain Awards winners also showed industry concerns with encryption and how essential cyber security has become." µ
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