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Sony BMG shortlisted for 'internet villain' gong

Russia and EC also nominated

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Sony BMG, the European Commission (EC) and Russia have all been nominated for this year's "internet villain" award.

The annual awards - run by UK trade group ISPA - are supposed to "reflect those individuals or organisations that have either helped or hampered the interests of the Internet industry in the past year".

Past winners of the "villain" award have included BT and the Home Office. This year, though, the nominations seek their inspiration from further afield.

Among the villains nominated this year are EU Commissioner Viviane Reding and her plans to extend the scope of broadcasting regulation to content delivered via the Internet.

The EC is also singled out for its "inability to get through one year without producing yet another piece of Intellectual Property legislation.

Then there's Russia, which has made the shortlist for "failing to deal with illegal websites and online abuse hosted within its borders".

Sony BMG gets the nod for "compromising the security of its customers' PCs with its copyright-protecting rootkit technology" while the UK Presidency of the European Union is booed and hissed for seeking EU-wide data retention laws which "will force ISPs and telcos to retain more data for longer without proper impact assessment".

As regards internet "heroes", ISPA reckons the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG) deserves a nomination for proposing to amend the Computer Misuse Act (CMA) to provide greater protection against the threat of distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks. The Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA) also gets a mention for its work in overseeing the development of local loop unbundling (LLU) in the UK.

Communications regulator Ofcom gets two mentions including "not wrecking the 0845 regime used to access pay-as-you-go (PAYG) Internet services", while Roger Darlington is listed for "his hard work as Chairman of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) from which he retires this year".

The 2006 ISPAs - the 8th annual UK internet industry awards - are due to be held early next year. ®

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