Leaking supposedly secret nominee's names for Nobel Prizes is, fortunately, not a crime of espionage. To the contrary, it approaches being a traditional that this year brought reliable tips to the BBC that, among 237 nominations for the Peace Prize was the Internet. The Oslo, Norway, chapter of the foundation awards the annual prize without publicizing the list of nominees, but members who submit nominations sometimes go public with names.

Involved sources told the UK broadcasting network that the Internet was officially accepted for competition at the first meeting of the Norwegian Nobel Committee on March 9. Altogether this year, 237 nominations have been submitted by a select group of previous laureates, government officials, university members and scientists and are being taken under consideration by a five-member Peace Prize panel.


Skeptics did not think that the Internet would be chosen because no individual person would be able to claim to be responsible for the emergence of the worldwide network and accept a prize. However, others say that anything can happen after President Barack Obama won the prize last year at a time when he was waging military action in Irak, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina and Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo are also reported on the list and viewed as more likely candidates.

The nomination of the Internet is the first time that something other than an individual person or an official organization has the chance of receiving the $1.4 million Peace Prize that will be announced on Oct. 8. Among non-individual recipients were several awards to the Red Cross and honors to UNICEF, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
For more info on the Nobel Prizes, see www.nobel.se