Grateful Dead lyricist and internet activist John Perry Barlow dead at 70


Grateful Dead lyricist and internet activist John Perry Barlow dead at 70

A cause of death was not named, but NBC reports he was known to have health problems since suffering a heart attack in 2015. 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.

He crafted a "Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace", asserting that existing legal rules didn't apply in the age of the evolving Internet.

In 1990, he co-founded the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation to preserve online civil liberties.

A lifetime could be spent exploring, and being inspired by, the life and learnings of John Perry Barlow.

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

The staunchly libertarian document demanded governments to avoid interfering in the internet, which he referred to as "the new home of the mind".

Bob Weir, one of the band's founding members, tweeted that Mr Barlow would "live on in the songs we wrote". And we'll leave you with this, from "Cassidy": Fare thee well now, let your life proceed by its own design / Nothing to tell now, let the words be yours, I'm done with mine. Another added: "I knew John Perry Barlow from the early days of Twitter, when the place was like a global coffee shop we all staggered into in the mornings".

Barlow wrote extensively for various publications about the power of the internet, helping to establish the idea that we need to wrestle with the internet not just as a technological phenomenon, but also as a cultural and political and legal one. You are not welcome among us.

"Barlow knew that new technology could create and empower evil as much as it could create and empower the good".

Barlow was a Wyoming native who graduated from Wesleyan University.

According to Cohn, Barlow was capable of seeing the good and bad attributes of the digital age, but made a conscious decision to work on the former rather than dwell on the latter. Furthermore, he was a Fellow Emeritus at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and had previously been recognized by Time Magazine in the outlet's 2012 article, "School of Rock: 10 Supersmart Musicians".

Barlow is survived by his daughters, Leah Justine, Anna Winter and Amelia Rose, and his granddaughter, Willah Brave Barlow Dunwody.



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