WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a thorn in the side of the governments worldwide thanks to his posting of classified information, will run for a seat in the Australian Senate despite being held under house arrest in the United Kingdom.
The question of whether Assange can succeed in his bid is a good one. On one hand, he has repeatedly been convicted of crimes involving hacking and some people consider him to be a high-tech terrorist. At the same time, he's a master at getting media attention and many people applaud his efforts to make governments more transparent.
Assange, who was born and raised in Australia, is waiting under house arrest in Norfolk to find out if he will be extradited to Sweden, where two women have accused him of sexually assaulting them in 2010.
Wikileaks also said that it is looking for a candidate to run against Prime Minister Julia Gillard for her seat representing the Australian state of Victoria.
Assange has criticised Gillard for not defending him after WikiLeaks made thousands of classified US embassy cables public in 2010. Even though Australian police said he hadn't broken any Australian laws by doing it, Gillard called the action "grossly irresponsible," reported The Independent.
Assange won an Amnesty International Media Award for publicising extrajudicial killings in Kenya, was chosen by Time Magazine readers as 2010 Person of the Year and last year was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
John Wanna, an Australian National University political scientist, said Assange likely won't prevail in his bid, but that he could receive more than 4% of the votes in his nominated state because of his high profile, according to The Washington Post.
Assange also would likely need backing from a major political party, which could be problematic considering his controversial image.