Digital Rights Watch pays tribute to EFF founder John Perry Barlow

We at Digital Rights Watch wish to pay our respects to the late John Perry Barlow, and share our sympathies with his family, friends, colleagues, and fellow activists.

It is no secret that Digital Rights Watch is a huge supporter of the Electronic Frontiers Foundation. We share a vision of an internet where human rights are inviolable. Where individual citizens can live free from governmental and corporate surveillance and control. Where all people are equal, regardless of race, social class, gender, nationality, wealth. A place where we can celebrate our shared humanity in a truly global commons.

That vision was brilliantly described by John Perry Barlow in his Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. It was his clarity of vision that led to his forming of the Electronic Frontier Foundation to defend the internet from imposed control of both corporations and governments. As citizens of the world, we owe him an enormous debt for keeping the internet as a place were we can freely communicate with each other.

Nearly all social movements use the internet extensively to organise and bring about progressive change. Without Barlow and the EFF, those social movements would be unable to effectively organise in cyberspace to bring about social change in the “real world”. Civil society would be weaker, more authoritarian, more corporate, sadder.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

JP Barlow, we have no better tribute than to commit ourselves to continuing your great work in your memory.