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Internet Pioneer John Perry Barlow Dead at 70

Internet Pioneer John Perry Barlow Dead at 70

John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and author of the 1996 manifesto, "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace", has died. The news was confirmed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which Barlow founded in 1990.

The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir has paid tribute to Barlow on Twitter, writing: "This life is fleeting, as we all know - the Muse we serve is not".

"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".

"Barlow was sometimes held up as a straw man for a kind of naive techno-utopianism that believed that the Internet could solve all of humanity's problems without causing any more", EFF executive director Cindy Cohn wrote in a statement.

Some of his policy views evolved over time, but he remained optimistic about the power of the internet to strengthen human connections as long as people weren't silenced by meddling governments or monopolistic businesses.

"He also wrote lyrics for Grateful Dead songs including "Black Throated Wind" and "Blow Away", among others".

It's a soaring document that's worth reading in its entirety, and was praised by many people who were just getting online in the early 90s with the emergence of the world wide web.

Barlow was born in rural Sublette County, Wyoming, in 1947 and grew up in Pinedale, where his parents were ranchers.

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Barlow moved to CT to attend Wesleyan University, majored in comparative religion, graduated in 1969, traveled and lived in India before returning to the U.S.in 1970.

He later returned to Wyoming, where he ran the family cattle ranch for almost two decades and dabbled in Republican politics.

His preoccupation with the internet dated from the mid-1980s, when he began using a computer to manage the ranch's finances.

Kapor and Barlow began collaborating after both were sought out by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents trying to investigate computer crimes.

Barlow continued to work along with the EFF in subsequent decades and continued espousing his ideals, becoming an influential force in the lives of online entrepreneurs like Aaron Swartz and Sean Parker.

Barlow joined the Grateful Dead as a nonresident lyricist in the early 1970s. "John had a way of taking life's most hard things and framing them as challenges, therefore adventures. You have no sovereignty where we gather", he wrote.

She said that his memoir, Mother American Night, was recently completed, and is due out in June 2018.

Barlow is survived by his wife Elaine and their three daughters.

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