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GCHQ and NSA named internet villains of 2014

Monday, July 14th 2014 by Luke Thompson
GCHQ and NSA branded internet villains of the year by ISPA (Thinkstock)

The ISPA has named intelligence agencies GCHQ and the NSA as its internet villains of the year.

GCHQ and the NSA have been branded internet villains of the year at the 2014 Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) Awards.

At the 16th edition of the annual event, the two intelligence agencies were criticised for operating the world's widest covert electronic surveillance programme.

The issue has been generating scores of headlines over recent months, with Prime Minister David Cameron last week announcing new emergency legislation enabling telecoms operators to retain customer data for the purpose of law enforcement for up to 12 months.

Furthermore, earlier this month a group of international internet service providers joined forces to sue GCHQ for allegedly attacking communications networks, following claims made by US whistleblower Ed Snowden.

In total, just under 50 organisations were nominated for the various ISPA Awards, with Catalyst2 and Hyperoptic – the biggest winners on the night – each coming away with two gongs.

Congratulating the winners, ISPA Secretary General Nick Lansman said: "The ISPA Awards are hugely diverse, and highlight how diverse the UK internet industry is and the vital role it plays in the British economy."

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