HM Revenue & Customs was named as "internet villain" of the year by the Internet Services Providers' Association on Friday.
The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA), which represents internet service providers across the UK, holds an eponymous annual awards ceremony in which it names the "internet hero" and "internet villain" of the year. This year, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) won the villain award for losing millions of citizens' personal data. The hero award was won by Peter Robbins, chief executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, for working with the government and industry to tackle illegal online content.
Other winners included Eclipse Internet ("best business ISP" and "best business email"), PlusNet ("best consumer ISP"), Datanet ("best business broadband"), UKFast ("best dedicated hosting") and Vodafone ("best wireless ISP").
The speaker at the event, which was held in central London, was former Undertones singer and current head of British Music Rights, Feargal Sharkey. The music and ISP industries have recently been at loggerheads over the issue of file-sharing, and Sharkey has used his forum to urge ISPs to work towards a mutually profitable way of distributing content.
Other nominees for the internet-villain award included BT Wholesale (for changing its engineering plans for 21CN at short notice), the British Phonographic Industry (for its "heavy-handed" approach to file-sharing), David Cameron (for "buddying up with the music industry") and French president Nicolas Sarkozy (for proposing to tax internet access).