“Influential internet rights pioneer John Perry Barlow has died, aged 70,” BBC News reports. “Mr Barlow was a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that campaigns on digital rights issues and was a director of the organisation for many years. He was an advocate of free speech and wrote about the net’s potential for making society more representative.”

“Mr Barlow also spent years writing lyrics for the Grateful Dead rock group and also ran a cattle ranch,” BBC News reports. “Bob Weir, one of the band’s founding members, tweeted that Mr Barlow would ‘live on in the songs we wrote.'”

“Cindy Cohn, director of the EFF, announced Mr Barlow’s death saying that he died quietly in his sleep on 7 February,” BBC News reports. “Mr Barlow had been ill for several years but few details were given about his medical problems.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: R.I.P., Mr. Barlow.

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. — Cindy Cohn

The EFF’s article announcing Barlow’s death is here.