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Donald Trump a Nominee for Internet Villain of the Year

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves as he walks offstage after delivering a campaign speech about national security in ManchesterU.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves as he walks offstage after delivering a campaign speech about national security in Manchester
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpPhotograph by Brian Snyder — Reuters

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump might win another election soon.

The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has nominated Trump for the 2016 “Internet Villain” award, the industry organization announced this week. The organization, which has held the awards for the last 18 years, says Trump was nominated “for calling on (the) industry to ‘close’ parts of the Internet.” Trump is running against the FBI for its row with Apple, as well as “The Internet Troll,” or the person on the Internet trying to limit free speech, among others, in this year’s villain race.

“The Internet Hero and Villain awards go to those who have helped or hindered the Internet industry,” ISPA secretary general Nicholas Lansman said in a statement. “These nominations, many from the public, reflect the importance of privacy, cyber security and great broadband and the work many MPs have done scrutinizing the Investigatory Powers Bill. These awards are light-hearted in nature, but do contain a serious point.”

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Trump has become one of the most divisive candidates in this year’s running for the Presidency. He indeed called on certain corners of the Internet to be closed down for defense purposes and was one of the more outspoken candidates when the FBI was attempting to force Apple to unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino attacker Syed Farook. Trump went so far at the time to say that users should boycott Apple’s products until the company complied with the FBI’s request.

Those comments, along with many others, has made Trump a disliked candidate in Silicon Valley. Just last week, in fact, CrowdPAC, an organization that analyzes candidate campaigns, found that Trump has received just 52 donations from employees working at Silicon Valley-based companies since he announced his candidacy last year. In comparison, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders received nearly 34,000 donations.

Ultimately, Trump’s fate in the ISPA’s Villain nomination will be determined by an “independent panel of industry experts,” who will use crowdsourced preferences, among other data points, to choose the victor (or loser). Unfortunately for Trump, the ISPA is made up of several prominent Silicon Valley companies, including Google (GOOGL) and Microsoft (MSFT).

But it’s not all bad stuff coming out of the ISPA awards. In addition to the “villain” category, ISPA offers the Internet “hero” category. Apple (AAPL) tops that nominee list, thanks to its defense of “fundamental principles of encryption and customer privacy.” It’s flanked by Internet-rights individuals and the Web Foundation, which is “working to extend the basic right of connectivity” to the world.

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The ISPA award winners will be announced on July 7 in London.