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BT wrestles with Carol Vorderman for 'net villain' award

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BT, Carol Vorderman and the European Union (EU) are all in the running for the dubious honour of being named "Internet Villain" of the year.

The most eagerly awaited award of the annual "ISPAs" - which celebrate the best (and worst) of the UK's internet industry - the "villain" category always causes a flurry of interest.

Previous winners include BT and the Home Office. The short-list for this year is as follows:

BT - For greatly exaggerating the number of people attempting to access web sites hosting child pornography at the PR launch of Cleanfeed and for implementing significant price hikes on its small and medium sized ISP wholesale customers with little notice.

The European Union (EU) - For threatening the 'Country of Origin' principle which has encouraged e-commerce across the EU and for the Draft Framework Decision on Data Retention.

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry - For their insufficient support for music download services and their lack of understanding of the online community

Lycos - For encouraging Internet users to participate in denial of service attacks

Carol Vorderman - For her uninformed comments on the Internet industry.

In the interest of balance, the ISPAs - run by the Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA) - also has an award for the "Hero" of the year. While a far more worthy award, it is, by its nature, also just a little dull.

Anyhow, the nominees for this accolade are:

The Officers of the All Party Internet Group - For their review of the Computer Misuse Act which called for a specific offence to be created and greater penalties for perpetrators of denial of service attacks

David Blunkett - For his self-imposed lesson on the value of privacy [whatever can they mean? ed]

Stephen Timms - For his effective work as E-commerce Minister which will be missed by the Internet industry

Ofcom - For reacting in an unexpectedly positive manner to the regulatory needs of the Internet telephony industry

Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE) - For their efforts to stop the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) from undermining the tried and trusted systems of Internet governance, with the threat of bureaucracy, government interference and disruption to the very essence of why the Internet is a success.

The winners of these awards, and all the other "ISPAs", will be announced on 24 February. ®

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