Internet rights advocate John Perry Barlow dies at 70

John Perry Barlow, Lyricist For The Grateful Dead & Political Activist, Passes Away At 70

"With a broken heart I have to announce that EFF's founder, visionary, and our ongoing inspiration, John Perry Barlow, passed away quietly in his sleep this morning", EFF's statement reads.

"I declare the global space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us", wrote Barlow. The article is regarded as highly influential on the ethos of the internet and Barlow stood by his words two decades on, despite accusations of naivety and the creeping encroachment of governments into the digital sphere.

Early internet rights advocate John Perry Barlow died on Wednesday at the age of 70, according to colleagues, CNN reports. Barlow is best known for his writings on the emerging philosophy of the internet during the 90s, particularly 1996's "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace."

Barlow was known for his belief in cyber liberties and co-founded the EFF in 1990 to champion free expression and privacy online. 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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He also wrote lyrics for Grateful Dead songs including "Touch of Grey" and "Brown Eyed Woman", among dozens of others.

"Governments of the Industrial World, you tired giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind".

Born in Wyoming on October 3, 1947, Barlow graduated with a degree in comparative religion from Wesleyan University.

In addition to his contributions to the Grateful Dead, Barlow was a well-known political activist who identified as a cyberlibertarian, though he worked across the aisle with both Democrats and Republicans to further causes he believed in. Black Throated Wind, Estimated Prophet, Mexicali Blues, Music Never Stopped, Looks Like Rain. Other credits include Fellow Emeritus at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, poet and essayist. The school describes him as a "retired Wyoming cattlerancher" and a father of three daughters-Leah Justine, Anna Winter and Amelia.

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