By EDRi

For the first time and with great solemnity, EDRi presents the first ever 5th edition of our annual awards.

The “Humpty Dumpty Award” for the most silly “statistics”

This Award goes to IAB Europe for confusing the Google-Facebook duopoly with publishers to lobby against ePrivacy. Of course, both companies usually do everything they can to avoid being placed into the category of a publisher, but for the IAB it was nevertheless convenient to boast about the “economic value of behavioural advertising” (in other words unasked stalking) by including the revenues of their biggest clients in the larger statistic. Next time IAB, maybe let us know to whom the money goes?

The Springer Award for WTF

This prestigious Award goes to the EU Parliamentarians who are trying to introduce laws at EU level that have already dramatically failed at the national level and are doomed to be disapplied.

Another BREAKING NEWS from the CJEU: AG Hogan advises Court to rule that German press publishers’ right should be disapplied due to lack of preventive notification to EU Commission "Advocate General Hogan: the Court should rule that the new German rule prohibiting search engines from providing excerpts of press products without prior authorisation by the publisher must not be applied."

The cranial fracture facepalm Award

This year’s cranial fracture facepalm Award goes to…surprise… Facebook! Well deserved, because the company:

  • lost the data of hundreds of millions of people
  • ruined a few elections
  • had a data breach which let anyone into millions of people’s accounts
  • and still wants to put an online webcam in your kitchen

Need we say more?

"Today we're excited to introduce @PortalFacebook to everyone. Come say hi and check out http://portal.facebook.com to learn more."

The “rules of engagement” Award for outstanding courtesy in political discussions

Being blocked by the UN Special rapporteur on freedom of expression is surely an achievement to behold: This year’s first ever “rules of engagement Award” goes to David Lowery, writer for the copyright advocate website “The Trichordist” and highly vocal commentator on this year’s discussions on the Copyright Directive proposal. We value a good exchange of arguments. We are, however, sometimes more than a bit surprised about the tone and language that the rightsholder lobby deems appropriate.

"Academia? Experts? Yeah right. Don’t know jack shit about how copyright holders are exploited by internet firms. Don’t wanna know. I offered that UN Rapporteur to come and spend some time with me combatting illegal uploads with me. He blocked my twitter account. Fuck you all!"


Positive EDRi Awards

On a more serious note, we should also spare a thought for the wonderful people that are doing wonderful work at a difficult time.

The new “Old Hero” Award

This year, instead of granting the traditional New Hero Award, we’d like to introduce a new Old Hero Award, to show our thankfulness and respect to our old (young) Executive Director Joe McNamee for his tireless efforts and achievements protecting digital rights in Europe.

We know you are reading this (and quietly correcting our grammar in your mind), so we just want to tell you that, as such, we’ll do our very best to make sure that your spirit carries on!

The heroes who keep us energised Award

We cannot name everybody, including last year’s awardees, but here are some of the stars that are worth highlighting:

  • Female digital rights heroes in the Parliament: MEPs Sippel, in’t Veld, Schaake, Reda, Ernst, Sargentini
  • Wolfie Christl for his research
  • EDRi member Bits of Freedom for their work and contributions to the defence of digital rights in Europe:
  • The thousands of people who voiced their concerns against online censorship and contacted their Parliamentarians during the copyright votes – and were then insulted as being bots

Finally, we want to recognise the amazing work that all of our members and other digital rights activists are doing in Europe and around the world.


The Shortlist

The following Awards were shortlisted this year but did not quite make it to the top:

The Humpty Dumpty Award for unsuccessful filters

Tumblr for its launch of “adult content” filter – it’s so bad at its job that it flagged the company’s own examples of acceptable nudity… Algorithmic filtering just.never.works.

The WTF pop culture surveillance award

Taylor Swift fans who went to her Rose Bowl show on 18 May were unaware of one crucial detail: A facial-recognition camera inside the display was taking everyone’s photos. The images were being transferred to a server, where they were cross-referenced with a database of hundreds of the pop star’s known stalkers.

The cranial fracture facepalm Award

The cranial fracture facepalm Awards 2018 almost went to Axel Voss MEP again – for the third time – for commenting on the proposal on adopting extra rights for filming sports events: “This was a kind of a mistake by the JURI Committee, I think, someone amended these, nobody has been aware of these, and then all of a sudden…”

More shockingly, he does not even seem to know which companies will be covered by his proposals.


Notable Publications


Did you like them? Please, check previous EDRi awards:

EDRi awards 2017
EDRi awards 2016
EDRi awards 2015

EDRi awards 2014

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