The EU is ISPA's internet villain of the year

The European Commissioner Viviane Reding received the Internet Villain of the Year award

The Internet Service Providers' Association ( ISPA ) named and shamed the internet hero and villain of the year at its ninth annual UK Internet Industry Awards last week.

The internet villain of the year award went to EU commissioner Viviane Reding and the European Commission, beating off stiff competition from the US government; e360 Insight; Peter Black, executive chairman of Next Generation Networks UK; and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

A spokesman for ISPA said: "Commissioner Viviane Reding and the European Commission received the award for foisting the most arcane set of rules yet seen for prior registration of .eu domains, requiring UK registered companies to submit legal affidavits to justify the authenticity of their business."

Annie Mullins, content standards manager at Vodaphone, won the internet hero award . ISPA commented: "Annie Mullins received the award for her work with the Home Office Task Force on protection of children on the internet and the European Union's Safer Internet Programme ."

The Home Office itself was also shortlisted for the desirable 'hero' award, along with Ofcom and former Ofcom chief executive Stephen Carter.

Other winners on the night included NTL:Telewest - now rebranded as Virgin Media - which scooped the best consumer ISP award. Claranet won best business ISP.

In recent months, Viviane Reding has won praise for her attempts to cap mobile phone roaming charges across Europe.