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One of the UK's most Net-savvy MPs is in the running for the tongue-in-cheek-mixed-with-more-than-a-hint-of-venom 'Internet Villain' award this year.

Anti-spam campaigner Derek Wyatt is on the shortlist for the Internet Villain award, for "lowering [the] level of informed debate on the Internet generally and spam in particular".

But he's up against some tough competition, with the Recording Industry Association of America's decision to "threaten to involve a 12-year-old girl in a court action".

Then there's the Broadband Stakeholders' Group (BSG), "for being beset by a minority of interests, achieving little with their Government funding and not appropriately representing the true broadband industry".

And last year's winner, the Home Office, voted Internet Villain 2002 "for the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act and demonstrating a lack of responsiveness to the Internet industry's concerns about data retention", is a challenger this year, too.

Last, but by no means least, is Verisign, for its "presumption that they own the Internet, and [for] the domain name system hijacking scandal".

The Internet Hero category is altogether more fluffy. Among the nominee is eminister Stephen Timms MP "for the enthusiasm he demonstrates in his role". Sheesh.

Other categories for this year's Internet Services Providers Association (ISPA UK) awards - including best ISP - are due to be announced shortly. The awards will be presented on 19 February. ®

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