Big Brother Awards
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Date: 2002-03-05

UK: Big Brother Awards 2002

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q/depesche 02.3.5./2

UK: Big Brother Awards 2002

Hier sind die Ergebnisse der gestern abgehaltenen, vierten Big Brother
Awards im UK, Bericht von Simon Davies.

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Well, we held the UK BBAs last night. It was a successful event, in front of
an audience of about 300 people. I think we created a more professional
ceremony than in previous years, and the evening certainly generated a great
amount of response from the people in the theatre.



This year’s “Big Brother Awards” have named Cabinet Secretary Sir Richard
Wilson as “Worst Public Servant” for 2002. The decision of judges was
announced tonight (Monday) at an award ceremony in the Hong Kong
Theatre of the London School of Economics.

The Big Brother awards were established in 1998 as a means of recognising
both the villains and the heroes of privacy. They are hosted each year by the
LSE, and are presented by Channel 4’s Mark Thomas. The awards are
organised by Privacy International, a human rights watchdog formed in 1990

Sir Richard received his award for his “long standing commitment to opposing
freedom of information, data protection and ministerial accountability”. He
narrowly beat David Blunkett and Michael Cashman MEP.

Awards were also bestowed in the following categories:


NORWICH UNION This award has been given following last year’s
controversy over the use of unapproved genetic tests to assess eligibility for
life insurance. Norwich has also won the award because of its “Pay as you
Drive” ™ satellite vehicle tracking project. It came ahead of the other
contenders The Countryside Alliance and the Internet Watch Foundation.


This goes to the National Criminal Intelligence Service for its plan to archive
the communication data (phone, email and internet traffic data) of all UK
citizens. The Integrated Transport Commission and the Electoral Reform
Society were runners-up.


This was scooped by the Department for Education and Skills for removing
anonymity in the 2002 national schools census and for creating a student
tracking system. Runners up were The Internet Watch Foundation and The
Home Office.

LIFETIME MENACE Although Michael Howard and Sir Richard Wilson were
extremely strong contenders this year, but the award has gone to the
National ID card concept. Judges stressed that they were most concerned
about the potential of this ongoing proposal to allow the mass-matching of
personal files throughout the government and private sector.

Privacy International’s Director, Simon Davies, said “The judges have been
appalled at the depths to which this year’s candidates have sunk.”

“During the judging process, it has become clear that government agencies
and companies have stooped to an all time low in the wilful violation of our

“We have been almost overwhelmed this year by a flood of new entries, many
of which involve technologies and techniques that are beyond the control of
law, and outside the comprehension of policy makers”

On a far more promising note, the award ceremony honoured five individuals
and organisations that had made an outstanding contribution to the
protection of privacy and human rights. These “Winston” winners are:

year started a campaign against restrictions on personal liberties. Since then
– and despite September 11th – the paper has stuck by this position and
modified its editorial stance on a wide range of issues from drug law reform
and surveillance through to police powers and CCTV.

MAURICE FRENKEL, Director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information,
for his outstanding contribution over many years to the establishment of FOI
legislation in Britain.

DAVID SHAYLER for services at great personal cost to opening up the
secret state and for his role in challenging the fairness and legality of the
Official Secrets Act.

ILKA SCHRODER, a German Greens MEP who has consistently fought to
defend citizens against state intrusion. She has been a key figure in the
European Parliament’s investigation into the “Echelon” spying system run by
the American National Security Agency.

THE LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY (Andrew Phillips) has works tirelessly
for many years on initiatives to build civil society and to promote and defend
the integrity of the judicial system. Last year he was instrumental in forcing
reforms to the governments anti-terrorism legislation.


Karen Banks, Co-ordinator, GreenNet

Caspar Bowden, Director, Foundation for Information Policy Research

Dr Ian Brown, University College London

Tony Bunyan, Editor, Statewatch, London

Duncan Campbell, Freelance film and television producer,

Simon Davies, Director, Privacy International

Dr Fleur Fisher, Ethics and healthcare consultant, London

Wendy Grossman, Author Net.Wars

Gus Hosein, London School of Economics

Malcolm Hutty, Internet Vision

Dr Stephen Saxby, Law School, University of Southampton

Dr Edgar Whitley, London School of Economics

Dr Steve Wright, Director, Omega Foundation

Here’s the press release and some links to press stories. I’d be really
grateful if someone could put this on the BBA international site. When Dave
Banisar is near a computer he’ll put it onto the PI site.

I’ll write shortly with some reflections on the evening


BBC coverage

Daily Telegraph article

Daily Telegraph editorial;$sessionid$NVYQ2WYAAE0H

ZD Net,,t277-s2104936,00.html

The Register


The Big Brother Awards are now in their fourth year, and have been
established in the UK, the US, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary,
France, Denmark and the Netherlands. Further information can be found at and on the PI website at

The initiator of the awards, Privacy International, was founded in 1990, and
campaigns on a wide range of privacy issues across the world.

The 4th UK awards took place in the Hong Kong Theatre of the London
School of Economics (ground floor, 97-99 The Aldwych) on Monday March
4th at 7pm.

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edited by Harkank
published on: 2002-03-05
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