Early internet rights advocate John Perry Barlow died on Wednesday, colleagues said. He was 70 years old.
Barlow was cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit in which advocates for civil liberties within the digital age. Barlow started off the organization with Mitch Kapor along with also also John Gilmore in 1990. He remained on the organization’s board along with also also involved with EFF until his death.
“This kind of will be no exaggeration to say in which major parts of the Internet we all know along with also also love today exist along with also also thrive because of Barlow’s vision along with also also leadership,” reads an obituary by EFF’s executive director Cindy Cohn, who worked with Barlow for 27 years. “He always saw the Internet as a fundamental place of freedom, where voices long silenced can find an audience along with also also people can connect with others regardless of physical distance.”
Barlow was a cofounder, with legendary whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a free speech nonprofit started off in 2012.
“Rest in power, Barlow. The internet will never be the same without you,” the organization tweeted after the news broke.
As word of his death spread, the tributes poured in on social media.
Barlow was also a lyricist for the Grateful Dead, helping write such songs as “Mexicali Blues.” He was also a rancher.
Barlow saw the internet’s potential as “a world in which all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth … a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.”
Cohn said the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which champions user privacy, free expression, along with also also innovation, will write more about Barlow’s legacy in coming days along with also also weeks.
“along with also also as always, we will continue the work to fulfill his dream,” she wrote.
sy88pgw (completely new York) First published February 7, 2018: 7:17 PM ET