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Ofcom, B4RN and William Hague nominated as Heroes by ISPA

ISPA, the Internet Providers Association, has published shortlists for its Heroes and Villains categories in the run up to its July awards ceremony.

These lighthearted awards are given to inspirational figures and groups who are regarded as having positive or negative effects on broadband deployment, regulation and legislation in the UK and the world.

Heroes up for a nomination this year include Ofcom, for it’s assessment of the Digital Economy Act 2010’s site blocking measures as impractical.

B4RN (Broadband for the Rural North) the grassroots rural broadband project that’s piping 1Gbps fibre into remote communities is too up for a nomination.

Foreign Secretary William Hague also gets a mention in the Heroes category for “recognising, at the London Cyber Conference, that the future internet must be without ‘government control or censorship’ where ‘innovation and competition flourish’ and ‘investment and enterprise are rewarded’.”

We’re not sure that Home Secretary Theresa May, who is backing the contentious Communications Data Bill, would agree with her cabinet stablemate.

ISPAs Internet Heroes and Villains 

The other two Hero nominees are Reg Bailey, for his government review on active choice adult content filters for parents and the Court of Justice of the European Union, for ruling in the Scarlet-Sabam case that applying filters for copyright infringing material would be “costly” and would adversely affect business.

Of these it’d probably be B4RN that’d get our vote; as well as being an inspirational bunch, we’ve a sneaking admiration for their ‘sponsor a meter of cable’ publicity campaign.

In the Villains camp figures we’ve got people such as U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith – aka the guy who gave us SOPA – and European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht, for his role in ACTA.

Goldeneye International gets a mention in the rogue’s gallery for serving account holders with £700 fines for alleged download of copyrighted material “relying solely on IP matching”.

Finally, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) makes the Villians list for its “for its internet governance land-grab which could lead to a less open and free internet, controlled by governments in a top-down manner.”

Nicholas Lansman the ISPA Secretary General said, “The Hero nominations are always a pleasure to announce and this year’s strong contenders have been chosen for promoting, developing or defending the interests of the Internet industry. The Villain is a light hearted look at those that have upset the industry or hampered its development and we look forward to announcing the winners on the 3rd July.”

In May ISPA announced its shortlist for its more serious categories including Best Consumer Fixed Broadband and Internet Safety and Security.