WikiLeaks could win a Nobel Peace Prize this year.

WikiLeaks is among the 241 Nobel Peace Prize nominees this year. The nominees come from 53 organizations and are greater in number than in any previous year.

Other nominees include the European Union, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, Russian rights group Memorial, Afghan rights advocate Sima Samar and the Internet. That’s right — the Internet as a whole has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize…

The controversy surrounding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is sure to make the discussion around the nomination heated, to say the least. Assange, we learned several days ago, is to be extradited to Sweden (ironic location, given the Nobel nod) for prosecution brought about by sexual assault charges from two women.

Still, Assange’s legal troubles stand separately from the work WikiLeaks has done in releasing information to the world — actions that have sometimes put the organization in extremely hot water, politically speaking. In fact, the organization pleaded with American media to ask conservative politicos and pundits to stop inciting Assange’s murder.

Geir Lundestad, a non-voting member of the Nobel panel, told Reuters, “Looking at the long term, we can say interest in the prize is strong and growing along with the number of candidates.”

These 241 nominations will be considered by the Nobel Committee, which will create a short list of nominees. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee of five people chosen by the Norwegian parliament president. The prizes will be presented on December 10 in Stockholm.