On January 28, 2008, at 11 am AIP and Internet Society Bulgaria presented the Big Brother anti-awards. The ceremony was held at the Center for Culture and Debate The Red House. The awards are given to government institutions, private companies, or individuals, who have done most to invade personal privacy. The Big Brother award was founded by Privacy International – a human rights group working for the protection of privacy. PI maintains the Big Brother Awards International Site.
The Big Brother award was presented to the Ministry of Interior for publishing data from the passports and criminal conviction records of two BBC journalists who were shooting a documentary in Bulgaria.
The Sramota (or Shame diploma) was presented to the Bulgarian Council of Ministers for their decision to publish in the State gazette from October 2007 the names, permanent addresses and the personal numbers of the owners of land, which was expropriated for the construction of the South road circle in Sofia.
Among the nominees for the anti-award this year were also the Traffic Police, the Registry Agency at the Ministry of Justice, as well as the Commission for Data Protection itself.
January 28, on which the Big Brother Awards Ceremony was held in Bulgaria, coincides with the European Data Protection Day. The date marks the adoption of Convention 108 of the Council of Europe for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data.
The Big Brother Awards ceremony was held in Bulgaria for the fourth time. The last ceremony was held in 2005. The awardees are selected by a jury. The 2008 Big Brother Awards jury has the following members:
* Alexander Kashumov – head of AIP legal team
* Gergana Jouleva, PhD – Executive Director of AIP
* Georgi Lozanov – Ass. Professor at the Journalism Department at
the Sofia University
* Zoya Dimitrova – Deputy Chief Editor of Politika newspaper
* Krasimir Dimitrov – Member of the Commission for Personal Data
* Fany Davidova – Jurist at AIP
* Julia Velkova – Project Manager, Internet Society Bulgaria
Pictures from the ceremony: http://www.aip-bg.org/big_brother_2008_pics.htm (Julia is far right on the first picture).