Is Public Accounts Committee an Internet Hero?
We won't know who the winners are until the star studded awards ceremony on 10th July 2014, but ISPA has published the shortlists for the Internet Hero and Internet Villain awards.
The nominations in each list are a shortlist from a few weeks of nominations during which the industry and public could nominate people, firms or organisations in each category, with the eventual winners being decided by the ISPA Council.
Internet Hero 2014 shortlist:
- The Guardian For their reporting of mass surveillance programmes.
- Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) For their continued championing of alternative networks.
- Internet Matters For their campaign to inform users of the importance of online safety.
- Public Accounts Committee/ National Audit Office For holding the government to account on the broadband programme.
Internet Villain 2014 shortlist:
- Charles Farr, Director of the Office of Security, Home Office For continued attempts to collect communications data in spite of the growing consensus to balance retention of data with fundamental rights.
- NSA/GCHQ For running the widest covert electronic surveillance programme in the world.
- Norfolk County Council For failing to rollout superfast broadband to 80% of residents as promised.
- Russian Government For passing one of the most restrictive internet freedom laws in the world.
We don't have a vote in these two categories but are surprised to see the Public Accounts Committee up for the hero award, because while there is a lot of bark from the Committee very little if anything concrete has arisen from the meetings and at times a lack of understanding on various important issues has arisen. Our vote (if we could vote) for Hero would go to The Guardian for the reporting that has shone the light on level of surveillance in modern society and correspondingly the Home Office for the ways it keeps resurfacing data collection laws.