Lib Dem leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has missed out on the Internet Hero award at the 15th annual ISPA awards.
His colleague Dr Julian Huppert MP picked up the gong in a ceremony at the Park Lane Hotel in London. Dr Huppert was commended by the judges panel for his tireless campaigning against the Communications Data Bill and for being one of the few MPs who truly understands the internet.
As well as the Deputy Prime Minister, he beat PRISM whistle-blower Edward Snowden and cyber-security experts Spamhaus to claim the prize.
This year’s Internet Villain is Recep Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister. In recent unrest he called social media ‘a menace to society’ and has an extensive record of censorship, online surveillance and blocking. ISPA Council recognised many states do this, however Turkey should set an example in the region.
Both the Hero and Villain shortlists were dominated by state surveillance, a huge issue for the internet industry and society over the last year. The Home Secretary Rt Hon Theresa May MP was nominated for the overly broad draft Communications Data Bill, also known as the ‘snooper’s charter’ and the American PRISM programme also featuring. Bluecoat who have been selling surveillance software to unfavourable regimes were also nominated.
“The Hero & Villain Awards have been part of the ISPAs since the first awards in 1999, and Julian Huppert is a worthy Hero, being sometimes a lone voice advocating the importance of the internet in parliament” said ISPA Secretary General Nicholas Lansman. “Recep Erdogan also deserves his award for the way he has prevented his citizens expressing themselves online.”