The Internet Nominated for 2010 Nobel Peace Prize

If some people have their way, you could be the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. "You" in this case being used broadly to mean the billions of people who log online daily.

Yes, the Internet is one of a record 237 nominations for the coveted prize this year.

Some groups have been advocating the Internet for the prize for months, but the nomination was officially accepted only this week, during the first meeting of the Norwegian Nobel Committee on March 9.

Nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize are not open to the public. Only a select group of people, including previous laureates, members of national governments and select university members and scientists, can nominate candidates for future prizes.

The Nobel Institute, which awards the annual prize, does not release the list of nominees, but nominators sometimes announce their selections.

According to the BBC, the Internet submission was backed by Shirin Ebadi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her human rights work, and by Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the $100 laptop project, One Laptop per Child.

The Internet nomination is also heavily backed by the Italian version of Wired magazine, which last November launched the Web site "Internet for Peace" to raise awareness for the campaign.

A statement on the Web site calls the Internet "a tool for peace." Anyone who uses it  "can sow the seeds of non-violence. And that's why the next Nobel Peace Prize should go to the Net. A Nobel for each and every one of us."

The prize will be awarded on Oct. 8, and will include a cash award of $1.4 million.

If the Internet were to actually win this year's Nobel Peace Prize, it would not be the first non-human winner.

The 1965 prize went to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); the 1985 prize was awarded to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; and the 2007 prize was split between Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore for their efforts to counteract global warming.

The Internet nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize is similar to Time magazine's dedication of its Person of the Year issue to "You," in honor of the millions of users of online sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, and Facebook.