I’m thrilled to have been nominated as a finalist for the 2010 ISPA Internet Hero award.
The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) has been organising the UK Internet Industry Awards since 1999, a series of worthy professional gongs designed, as their PR says, “to herald the best of the Internet industry and to celebrate innovation and best practice”.
To add a certain spice to the event, there are also awards for Internet Hero and Internet Villain. According to my citation for the Hero award, I was nominated for my campaign organising a grass roots challenge to the Digital Economy Bill.
As LibDems will recall, this challenge was to change party policy in the runup to the Bill going through the Commons, after Cory Doctorow had contacted me, concerned that Lib Dem peers were not doing enough to oppose its draconian measures on web-blocking and disconnection.
I organised an open letter from candidates to our MPs and peers, and together with Obhi Chatterjee and others then wrote an emergency motion for the party’s spring conference; I proposed it, Julian Huppert seconded, and it was overwhelmingly passed. The campaign was backed by stalwarts Mike Cooper, David Wright, and David Matthewman among others.
Our campaign led to a change in Liberal Democrat party policy, with the party’s MPs then voting against the Bill at its third reading. David Matthewman has since ensured that digital rights stay on the agenda of the coalition, with an amendment at the party’s post-election special conference. Julian Huppert is now MP for Cambridge and in an excellent position to continue to champion digital freedom within Parliament. And Richard Allan, who joined Cory and me in a delegation to lobby our DCMS frontbenchers, is now a peer himself. (Best not mention the nominees for internet villain….).
So I am really only one campaigner amongst many – but still delighted to be nominated!
The winners will be announced tomorrow night at what is inevitably described as “a glittering awards ceremony”. Hero nomination notwithstanding, I’m told the dress code is black tie, not cape and tights….