Storm around Mozilla Internet Villain nomination ends category
When Mozilla was nominated as a candidate for the Internet Villain 2019 in the 21st Annual ISPA Awards for offering DNS over HTTP (DoH) technology this was something of a surprise and since then social media has had people taking their sides and the clear winner has been that Mozilla should not be in the category.
On the evening of 9th July ISPA announced that the Internet Villain category is withdrawn this year and the nomination of Mozilla is null'd.
While we are withdrawing the nomination, we still believe that it is important to properly scrutinise the implementation plans for DoH. Below we set out our position in more detail and we will continue to develop this position and engage with our members, browser and app companies, DNS resolvers and vendors, policymakers and the wider Internet community on this issue.
Any implementation of DoH (or equally any other flavour of encrypted DNS) should be capable of achieving the expected privacy and security benefits, while at the same time being mindful of the complex internet eco system, as well as the different user relationship and trust models that are in play.Extract from ISPA statement
Unfortunately the withdrawal of the category means that Donald Trump and the Article 13 Copyright Directive escape any risk of receiving the trophy. Personally if I was involved in the decision making around this I would have preferred that the category continue with the two remaining nominations.
The Internet Villain category in the past has been relatively light hearted but it is possible that because of the polarisation effect of the political situations in the UK and USA that it is the wrong time to attempt to be light hearted.
One of the reasons that we suspect the nomination drew so much negative criticism is that large numbers working in the Internet industry feel that Government moves to promote the UK as the safest place to be online are sometimes over reaching and lack widespread consultation with the industry. The larger companies find it easy to respond to consultations as they will have the staff to handle this but the smaller providers will find this difficult to do at a time when margins are already being squeezed.
What is clear is that for the first time in years we have the press talking about the ISPA Awards. It also means that if by some fluke I was to win the Internet Hero award I might get to take it home, as the personal intent was to present it to Mozilla as soon as winning it.