Fending off some of the nastiest people on the net, including the writer of the Sasser and Netsky computer viruses, the Chinese Government has been crowned Internet Villain in Future Publishing's 2004 Internet awards.
Beating off even teenage virus writer, Sven Jaschan, the Chinese Government received thousands of votes protesting against China’s hard line stance against the online world.
Its many offences include; a crackdown on Internet cafes, increasingly zealous political censorship and the restrictions being placed on viewing foreign websites.
Conversely, this year’s Internet Hero award was won by UK based political lobbying website run by just 10 volunteers.
Founded in 2000 FaxYourMP.com demonstrated to voters that the true free spirit of the Internet is indeed alive, despite the best attempts of the Chinese Government.
FaxYourMP.com is determined to give ordinary people better access to their MPs and as a result has faxed almost 100,000 letters to MPs for free.
Announcing the awards yesterday in London, Stuart Anderton, publisher of .net magazine said: "While the Chinese government has distanced itself from its population by suppressing the free flow of information and closing down cybercafes, a plucky group of Brits has helped the UK population get closer to its Government with FaxYourMP.com. Governments can either embrace or attack the Internet - either way, it's not going to go away.
"The people who have voted in our awards don't just use the Internet, they're the people who create and shape the UK's online experience, so their opinions are massively important to other users and companies who make their money from the Internet."
Other winners at yesterday's awards - supported by Future's portfolio of leading magazine, such as .net, Internet Works and Internet & Broadband Advisor, included UKFast for best businesses ISP and PlusNet for top consumer ISP.
Google won the prize for Best Search Engine, while Apple's iTunes scooped the Web Innovation of Year award thanks to its easy-to-use shopfront and foolproof integration with Apple’s iPod.
Sources: Future Publishing, The Register
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