" ITREALMS: Internet pioneer, Barlow dies @71, EFF mourns

Friday, February 09, 2018

Internet pioneer, Barlow dies @71, EFF mourns

An Internet pioneer, John Perry Barlow is late and died at the age of 71 years old, reports 

Barlow who was one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an international non-profit digital rights group based in San Francisco, California, passed away on Wednesday during sleep.

ITRealms recalls that Barlow founded EFF alongside John Gilmore, John Gilmore and Mitchell Kapor on July 6, 1990 in California.

Confirming this to ITRealms, the Executive Director, EFF, Cindy Cohn said that she had a broken heart on hearing about John's death, describing him as a visioner

"We will miss Barlow and his wisdom for decades to come, and he will always be an integral part of EFF," Cohn said.

The director also in a blog post noted that major parts of the Internet "we all know and love today exist and thrive because of Barlow’s vision and leadership."

According to Cohn, "he always saw the Internet as a fundamental place of freedom, where voices long silenced can find an audience and people can connect with others regardless of physical distance.

"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. 

"As someone who spent the past 27 years working with him at EFF, I can say that nothing could be further from the truth. Barlow knew that new technology could create and empower evil as much as it could create and empower good. 

"He made a conscious decision to focus on the latter: "I knew it’s also true that a good way to invent the future is to predict it. So I predicted Utopia, hoping to give Liberty a running start before the laws of Moore and Metcalfe delivered up what Ed Snowden now correctly calls 'turn-key totalitarianism.'”

"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.”

Cohn promised to share in the coming days and weeks what an extraordinary role Barlow played for the Internet and the world. 

"And as always, we will continue the work to fulfill his dream," she assured.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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