BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Friday, 20 February, 2004, 12:17 GMT
Top net villains and heroes named
Hand on mouse and keyboard
Verisign hijacked some web searches
Britain's net industry has named internet domain giant Verisign as its villain of the year.

It won the accolade for a system it set up that hijacked mistyped web queries and sent people to a Verisign-run site.

Hero of the year was Steve Linford who runs the Spamhaus Project that attempts to thwart peddlers of unwanted mail.

The two awards were given out during the annual ceremony in which the UK net industry picks out the best and most innovative in its business.

Junking the junk

Verisign beat back competition from the Home Office and the Recording Industry Association of America to win the villain award.

Google logo, Google
Google won award for best search system
Ispa said Verisign deserved the award "for their presumption that they own the internet and the domain name system hijacking scandal".

This scandal revolved around what happens when your computer tries to find out the location of a website you want to visit.

Often your computer consults master lists of which address is where. If you mistype the name of the website, you should get back an error message.

However, Verisign altered this system to direct people who mistyped site names to a page that asked them if they wanted to buy that wrongly spelled domain.

The move was roundly condemned and in October Verisign suspended the change but is rumoured to be thinking about re-instating it.

Steve Linford won the hero award for his tireless work against spammers.

He deserved the award, said Ispa, "for educating people about spam, endeavouring to thwart spammers and urging the US to reject the opt-out approach to spam legislation".

In other awards Google was named as best search facility; Bulldog Communications walked away with the trophy for best consumer broadband and best national consumer net provider went to Freeserve.

Activist slams song-swap battle
15 Jan 04  |  Technology
Government wins net villain award
21 Feb 03  |  Technology
Rethink urged over net snooping laws
19 Dec 02  |  Technology
MPs hear evidence on UK broadband
11 Nov 03  |  Technology
Porn virus targets spam stoppers
03 Dec 03  |  Technology
Contentious net service dropped
06 Oct 03  |  Technology

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific