Nobel Peace Prize for ... Internet?

The Internet has been nominated for this Year's Nobel Peace Prize. This candidacy raises much controversy. In fact it’s impersonal and no one knows who – as a possible winner - would receive this prestigious award.

This year's nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize are in many respects unique. Number of applications received is a record – 237. Among them: Chinese dissidents, Russian human rights group Memorial,l the International Space Station (ISS) and ...the Internet.

The last candidate seems to be the most interesting one. The appointment, which is an initiative of the Italian edition of the “Wired” magazine, among others is supported by Iranian Nobel Prize winner from 2003 Shirin Ebadi. However, in this case there are some doubts.

In accordance with the principles of the Nobel Prize, only specific individuals or institutions represented by people may receive this, probably, one of the most respected awards in the world. felt that representatives of the Internet could be both:Web pioneers Larry Roberts and Vint Cerf from USA and British - Tim Berners-Lee. In their manifest, the editorial staff writes about the importance of the Internet: “contact with the others is always the best measure against hatred and conflicts. Therefore, the Internet consists an instrument of peace.”  

For Shirin Ebadi, the cause of this nomination’s support is a significant role that the Internet plays in the activities of the opposition in Iran. The opponents of the regime can distribute, through new social networks, uncensored information about the demonstrations and their suppression by the authorities. The supporters of this initiative are also the chief editors of the American and British edition of Wired: Nicholas Negroponte (One Laptop Per Child), Joi Ito (Creative Commons) and the Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani.

Since the first award of this prize in 1901, there has never been so many proposals of the candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, as this year. Last year the Nobel committee took a surprising decision and awarded the prize to the President of the United States – Barack Obama. Nobel Prize is accompanied by the financial reward of 10 million Swedish crowns (one million euros). Surname (or in this case- name) of this year's winner will be announced at the beginning of October.

Agnieszka Musialska