Monday, 15 October, 2018

EFF cofounder John Perry Barlow dies

Former Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow dead at 70 John Perry Barlow, Grateful Dead Lyricist and Internet Pioneer, Dies at 70
Rosie Leonard | 11 February, 2018, 05:37

A founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead John Perry Barlow has died.

The foundation was formed by Barlow; Mitchell Kapor, former president of Lotus Development Corp.; and John Gilmore, one of the first employees of Sun Microsystems.

What a lot of people may not know is that Mr Barlow was actually a songwriter.

Barlow saw the internet's potential as "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".

Also from Barlow's declaration, foreshadowing: "In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace". The world and the internet was certainly a better place for him.

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

Mr. Barlow was born in Sublette County, Wyo., on October 3, 1947, and raised in the county seat of Pinedale, where his father was a state senator.

He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1969 and eventually returned to Wyoming, where he ran a cattle ranch for almost two decades and dabbled in libertarian and Republican politics, working on a congressional campaign for Richard B. Cheney, the future vice president in the George W. Bush administration.

In addition to his work with the EFF, Barlow co-founded the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2012, which works to support public interest journalism.

Barlow was among the many Grateful Dead associates who were interviewed in the in-depth 2017 documentary about the group, Long Strange Trip.

Barlow was also involved involved in politics helped campaign for Dick Chaney back in the '70s.

Yesterday, John Perry Barlow died in his sleep after a tumultuous three years of health issues following a 2015 heart attack.

The staunchly libertarian document demanded governments to avoid interfering in the internet, which he referred to as "the new home of the mind". On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone.

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