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The Internet Villain Awards

Shortlist of three

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The former head of AltaVista UK - the ISP that never was - has been honoured by his peers.

Andy Mitchell, who now heads search engine Webtop, has been shortlisted for Britain's self-styled "Internet Oscars" alongside David Edmonds, head of telecoms regulator Oftel, and Home Secretary Jack Straw.

All three are running for the title of Internet Villain of the Year as part of the annual awards hosted by the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA).

Of course, Mitchell is in good company. Edmonds' work to promote competition in the telecoms industry is legendary, and Straw's grasp of civil liberty issues has already won him high acclaim.

And who can forget that farcical fortnight last summer when Net users around the world joined the search to find a user - any user - of AltaVista UK's non-existent "free" ISP. Oh, happy days.

With such talent on hand, it's difficult to pick a winner. That's why we're happy to say that, just to be nominated, they must all be winners.

Congratulations, chaps - El Reg tips its beak in your general direction.

However, there has to be a winner and he'll find out on 7 February at the awards ceremony in London. Good luck.

Oh, and the award is sponsored by monster telco BT which is a tad ironic, no? ®

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