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The Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) has unveiled its shortlist for the 2015 Internet Hero and Internet Villain awards at the 17th Annual UK Internet Industry Awards on July 2nd.

The event at The Brewery in the City of London shortlists more than 40 firms across 17 categories.  

ISPA's list of heroes and villains was once again dominated by companies in the surveillance sector, with all of the candidates for 'Hero' status involved in either limiting or enhancing regulation.

Nominations include David Anderson QC for his comprehensive independent report into future surveillance powers, as well as Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir Anthony May QC.

MPs David Davis and Tom Watson have also been recognised for their legal challenge to guarantee the privacy of constituents and raising parliamentary debate on communications data issues.

Privacy International, GreenNet and Plaintiffs are also in the running for their legal challenges over the extent of GCHQ surveillance that contributed to changes in the law.

Home Secretary Theresa May has been shortlisted for Internet 'Villain', on the back of the government's push for extended communications data legislation; an idea critics say has been devised without full consultation with the industry.

Similarly, Lords West and King have been nominated for their repeated attempts to reintroduce the Communications Data Bill, despite recommendations to the contrary by a Joint Parliamentary Committee. has been criticised "for compromising net neutrality and the open internet," while Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Former Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee, stands accused of "placing unwarranted blame on the internet and technology industry".

Announcing the shortlists, ISPA Secretary General Nicholas Lansman said: “The Internet Hero and Villain awards this year, which included nominations from the public via social media, reflect the ongoing debate around privacy and security.

"While the categories are light-hearted in nature, there is a serious point here: it is crucial that a full and open discussion is led by Parliament to create a proportionate framework that balances privacy, security and the UK’s status as a leading digital economy.”

More information on the awards can be found at

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