EFF founder and internet activist John Perry Barlow has died

John Perry Barlow       an influential internet philosopher and cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2010. cellanr  CC Wikipedia

Barlow was a pioneer of the online world, who co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in 1990, four years after joining the WELL and well ahead of the internet invading almost every home the world.

EFF said in statement that Mr. Barlow passed away early on February 7 morning in his sleep at age 70.

As well as his work with EFF, Barlow also co-founded the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2012, an organisation devoted to preserving the integrity of public-interest reporting. Barlow knew that new technology could create and empower evil as much as it could create and empower good.

Outside of his activism, Barlow was good friends with Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir.

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Barlow was a lyricist who contributed to many Grateful Dead songs from 1971 until the group disbanded in 1995 following the death of frontman Jerry Garcia.

Yet Ace was only the start as Bobby and John Perry Barlow would also write such gems as "Let It Grow", "The Music Never Stopped", "Lazy Lightning", "Estimated Prophet", "I Need A Miracle", "Saint Of Circumstance", "Lost Sailor", "Feel Like A Stranger", "Throwing Stones", "Hell In A Bucket" and "Picasso Moon" over the course of the next two decades.

It is with some sadness that we must report the passing of John Perry Barlow. He co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1990 after realizing that the government was ill-equipped to understand what he called the "legal, technical, and metaphorical nature of datacrime".

Cohn added that Barlow's lasting legacy is that he devoted his life to making the Internet into "a world that 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". In this particular regard, it's sad that Mr Barlow was not better known.

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"He's one of the very first people who recognized the internet was going to be important because it would help people connect in a way they couldn't in the physical world", said Cindy Cohn, the EFF's executive director.

Barlow was a Wyoming native who graduated from Wesleyan University.

His survivors include three daughters and a granddaughter.

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