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Theresa May is 2015 Internet Villain of the year

Home secretary recognised for inadequate consultation over Snooper’s Charter

Theresa May is the internet industry's "villain of the year" after attempting to pass the Snooper's Charter, legislation handing spies more powers, without adequate consultation.

The Home Secretary was named the Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA)'s Internet Villain yesterday at the annual ISPA Awards.

The organisation said she won "for forging ahead with communications data legislation without fully consulting industry. With an Investigatory Powers Bill due before parliament in the coming months, it is essential that ISPs are consulted".

Privacy International accepted the award on her behalf.

May tried to pass the Communications Data Bill under the Coalition, but Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats blocked her attempt.

However, the bill returned in a different guise as the Investigatory Powers Bill in the Queen's Speech following the Conservative election victory.

The legislation would extend security services' powers to collect communication data on citizens  from ISPs, something privacy groups have railed against.

Elsewhere, ISPA awarded Labour MP Tom Watson and Conservative MP David Davis as Internet Heros "for their legal challenge to guarantee the privacy of their constituents and their efforts to raise the level of debate in Parliament on communications data issues".

ISPA secretary general Nick Lansman said: "Congratulations to all the winners. With ISPA celebrating its 20th anniversary, the ISPAs show the continued strength and diversity of the UK Internet industry as the UK economy moves ever more online.

"The Hero and Villain Awards also show that industry needs to be included in the surveillance debate."

More winners can be found at www.ispaawards.org.uk.

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