John Perry Barlow - lyricist, writer, information security expert, vice-president and founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He talked about the opposing forces that were trying to control information on the web and shared his own experiences in the ongoing fight for the free exchange of information.
On the 7th of February at the Digital October Center a teleconference took place with the legendary John Perry Barlow - former lyricist for Grateful Dead, the inspiration behind the Burning Man festival, and friend of Timothy Leary and John F. Kennedy Jr.
The renowned "Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" was written by Barlow on February 8, 1996, the day that President Bill Clinton signed Communication Decency Act, which essentially proposed the introduction of Internet censorship. At that time, Barlow had already founded and was Vice-Chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that investigates the social and legal issues in cyberspace. His declaration brought the public's attention to the problem, and on July 12th of that same year, the Supreme Court declared the telecommunications reform act unconstitutional.
Since May 1998 Barlow has worked at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and is a member of the International Academy of Digital Art and Science (IADAS). The Electronic Frontier Foundation continues to strengthen the legal wall that separates and protects the Internet from territorial governments. Lately, his most important work has his active participation in the fight to keep the SOPA and PIPA bills from being passed. These laws could have seriously restricted access to information on the Internet. The vertical power paradigm might not allow the government to accept the existence of an entirely independent channel of communication, but civil society stood its ground!
As an authority on issues like computer security, Barlow writes articles and gives lectures, urging society and the government to pay attention to the global changes that have taken place since the rise of the Internet. Freedom of speech on a worldwide information network has raised the level of human consciousness and the Internet has created a sharp divide between the past and present, if one does not take these changes into account, one will lose out in the long run. "The Internet has killed God," announced Barlow, meaning that the worldview in which God is the pinnacle of universe while mankind humbly looks up to Him is hopelessly out of date.
During his lecture at Digital October Barlow talked about the opposing forces that were trying to control information on the web and shared his own experiences in the ongoing fight for the free exchange of information.
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