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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 12:00 GMT
Britain's net champions named
Elizabeth France, Information Commissioner
The Home Office has been chosen by the UK's net industry as its internet villain for 2002.

The government department was judged to have done the most to upset Britain's net community by the Internet Service Providers Association which handed out the prize at its annual award ceremony on Wednesday.

The Home Office received the award because it is forcing net service providers to comply with controversial legislation that many see as damaging the UK net economy and imposing unnecessary burdens on technology firms.

Consumer Awards
Best National Consumer ISP: Freeserve
Best Pan-European ISP: AOL
Best Virtual ISP: Powergen
Best Unmetered ISP: Telewest
Information Commissioner Elizabeth France was given the award for internet hero for her agency's work in defending and nurturing the UK's net community.

Internet impact

The annual awards of the Internet Service Providers Association are given to those organisations that the British net firms deserve to be praised or, in one case, pilloried.

This year is the fourth year for the 15 awards, known as the ISPAs. The shortlist for each award is chosen by market research organisation Durlacher, and the final choice is made by a panel of judges.

Douglas Alexander, e-commerce minister, gave the opening address at the awards ceremony.

Industry Awards
Best National Business ISP - Claranet
Best Pan-European Business ISP - Cable and Wireless
Best Small Business ISP - Pipex
Best Application Service - Telewest
Best Hardware Supplier - Sun Microsystems
Best Carrier - Energis
Best Co-Location Provider - IX Europe
Best Net Application - Inktomi
"Many of the newspapers have painted an unreasonably bleak picture of the industry over the last few months," he said.

"But we have made, and continue to make, real progress towards becoming an information society and an information economy," he said.

"But, the true impact of the internet on our society and economy has yet to be felt."

Awards are given to both consumer and industry organisations and cover such categories as Best National Consumer ISP, Best Unmetered ISP, as well more esoteric categories such as Best Application Service and Best Co-Location Provider.

Heroes and Villains
Internet Hero - Elizabeth France
Internet Villain - The Home Office
Internet Watch Foundation Award - BBC
No single organisation dominated the award ceremony, however Telewest did win two awards; one for Best Unmetered ISP and another for Best Application Service.

The BBC won an award from the Internet Watch Foundation for its drafting and use of guidelines to help protect children online.

The awards ceremony was held at the ISPCon net providers trade show which took place at Olympia in London from the 12-14 February.

See also:

11 Jul 01 | UK
E-privacy complaints soar
11 Jul 01 | Sci/Tech
The problems of protecting privacy
22 Aug 01 | Sci/Tech
Warning over wiretaps
18 Jan 02 | Sci/Tech
UK snooping laws in disarray
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