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The Chinese Government has romped home to scoop Future Publishing's first ever "Internet Villain" award for its hard line against the online world. With its crackdown on online porn, political censorship and its decision to close thousands of internet cafes, authorities in China have managed to beat some of the net's nastiest people to win the award.

Conversely, Future's readers voted the political lobbying website "FaxYourMP.com" as "internet hero" by given people the chance to contact their political representatives for nowt.

Announcing the awards yesterday in London, Stuart Anderton, publisher of .net magazine said: "While the Chinese government has distanced itself from its population by suppressing the free flow of information and closing down cybercafes, a plucky group of Brits has helped the UK population get closer to its Government with FaxYourMP.com. Governments can either embrace or attack the internet - either way, it's not going to go away.

"The people who have voted in our awards don't just use the internet, they're the people who create and shape the UK's online experience, so their opinions are massively important to other users and companies who make their money from the internet."

Other winners at yesterday's awards - supported by Future's stable of titles such as .net, Internet Works and Internet & Broadband Advisor, included UKFast for best businesses ISP and PlusNet for top consumer ISP.

Internet telephony outfit Skype won the best use of internet in business, while Apple's iTunes scooped web innovation of the year. The full list of winners is here. ®

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China shuts 1,600 cybercafes
China jails four for running mucky site
Chinese IT student jailed for running XXX site
14 knifed in Chinese cybercafe attack
Pornsters face life in China smut crackdown

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