Apple up for internet hero of the year, Donald Trump for villain

The US presumptive Republican presidential candidate earned his Internet Villain nomination for a “complete lack of understanding of how the web works”

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

If you undermined security, helped expand surveillance, or trolled the internet over the past year, there’s a chance you will become this year’s Internet Villain at the ISP Association’s upcoming awards night.

UK home secretary Theresa May was voted last year’s villain of the year for pushing through the UK’s so-called “snoopers’ charter”, officially known as the Investigatory Powers Bill.

Among those who’ve made this year’s ‘villain’ shortlist are presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump; the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers leak, Mossack Fonseca; the FBI; and copyright enforcer, TCYK LLP.

Meanwhile, Apple has been nominated along with four others for this year’s Internet Hero of 2016.

The nominees are selected by the ISP Association’s 10-member council, based on “crowdsourced suggestions from the public”. As with last year, key themes driving suggested nominations are privacy and surveillance.

The ISP Association has over a 100 members, including giant broadband providers, as well Google and Microsoft from the tech world.

According to ISPA, Trump earned his nomination for a “complete lack of understanding of how the web works” when he suggested the US could “close down parts of the internet“ to contain ISIS.

Mossack Fonseca meanwhile is nominated for poor security. However, without its poor security, the world might still be in the dark about billionaires’ tax-dodging strategies.

Apple was nominated for the 'Internet Hero' award after defending the fundamental principles of encryption and customer privacy
Apple was nominated for the 'Internet Hero' award after defending the fundamental principles of encryption and customer privacy

The FBI’s villain status and Apple’s hero nomination are two sides of the same coin, related to their fight over the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

According to ISPA, the FBI was nominated “for attempting to undermine security by compelling technology companies to bypass existing security features”.

Apple’s hero nomination was “for defending the fundamental principles of encryption and customer privacy”.

Two other potential heroes this year are Andrew Ferguson, editor of broadband information resource ThinkBroadband, and the Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s Web Foundation for its efforts to expand connectivity.

The awards will be presented on July 7 at the 18th UK Internet Industry Awards in London.

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