Europe, scourge of the right wing, tasted the wrath of the traditionally liberal Internet community on Thursday night when it was crowned as the Internet Villain for 2005 at the 7th Annual UK Internet Industry Awards, the ISPAs.
Facing stiff competition from BT, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Lycos and Carol Vordermann, the EU took the award for work that, said the ISPA judges, "has threatened the 'Country of Origin' principle, which has encouraged e-commerce across the EU, and for the Draft Framework on Data Retention".
The European Union did not turn up on the night to collect the award, but a representative from EuroISPA, picked it up on their behalf. "There will be a letter from me passing this award on to those who deserve it in Brussels," he said.
Previous winners of the Internet Villain award -- which is awarded by the Internet Service Providers' Association Council -- include the Home Office -- twice-- and Verisign.
On a happier note, the Internet Hero award went to Stephen Timms MP, for "for his effective work as e-commerce Minister, which will be missed by the Internet industry".
Timms served as e-commerce minister between May 2002 and September 2004, during which time he impressed many in the UK ICT industry with his knowledge and enthusiasm.