This year’s Internet Villain is: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

This year’s Internet Villain is: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Our prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was named Internet Villain by the U.K. Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA). They gathered nominations through social media. The Internet Hero and Villain awards are highly anticipated as they reveal the hidden truths that the mainstream media cannot talk about.

Last year saw B4RN (Broadband for the Rural North) crowned as Internet Hero for their efforts to bring a community supported FTTH fiber-optic broadband service to isolated parts of rural northern Lancashire.

Similarly the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) was named Internet Villain for its “Internet governance land grab,“ which could potentially have resulted in a less open and free Internet that would be “controlled by governments in a top-down manner.“

The 2013 awards were all about surveillance.

The finalists of this year were;

• Deputy Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg, MP – For preventing the Communications Data Bill.

• Julian Huppert, MP – For leading political opposition against the Communications Data Bill.

• Edward Snowden – For exposing the PRISM surveillance project being run by the U.S. government and calling for a debate around surveillance in the digital age.

• Spamhaus – For fending off a significant global cyber-attack in the spring.

Internet Villain Finalists 2013

• Bluecoat et al – For selling surveillance technologies and equipment to unfavorable regimes.

• Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – For condemning social media as a “menace to society,” when he should recognize the value of the Internet in a democracy.

• Home Secretary Rt. Hon. Theresa May, MP – For pushing ahead with the Communications Data Bill despite criticism from industry.

• The PRISM Project – For running a surveillance program that appears to have operated without proper safeguards and little transparency.

The ISPA said the following about the awards:

“Dr. Julian Huppert, MP saw off his party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg, MP to win the Internet Hero Award at the 15th ISPA Awards.

The winner was decided by ISPA Council, who wanted to commend Dr. Huppert for his tireless campaigning against the Communications Data Bill and for being one of the few MPs who truly understands the Internet. As well as the deputy prime minister, he beat PRISM whistle blower Edward Snowden and cyber-security experts Spamhaus to claim the prize.

This year’s Internet Villain is Recep [Tayyip] Erdoğan, the Turkish prime minister. In recent unrest he called social media ‘a menace to society’ and has an extensive record of censorship, online surveillance and blocking. ISPA Council recognized many states do this, however Turkey should set an example in the region.”

At a time when the Turkish ICT NGOs remained silent, the award from England should embarrass those who are in charge.