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Barlow was born in rural Sublette County, Wyoming, in 1947 and grew up in Pinedale, where his parents were ranchers. All but "Walk In The Sunshine" are looked back upon as great songs that were staples for long periods of the Grateful Dead's live repertoire through Jerry Garcia's death and are still played today by post-Jerry outfits featuring surviving members. For tech sites such as ours, however, he'll be forever remembered as the co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation - arguably the most influential organization for internet civil liberties.

Through the EFF, Barlow championed net neutrality and an open internet, often suing the federal government over its handling of online information and privacy matters.

Barlow's famous piece, the "Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace", written in February 1996 - shortly after the passage of the Telecommunications Reform Act, which he decried - has taken on a new meaning today as the internet has taken over the world.

The foundation was formed by Barlow; Mitchell Kapor, former president of Lotus Development Corp.; and John Gilmore, one of the first employees of Sun Microsystems.

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

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The EFF said that he wanted to focus on the good. As someone who spent the past 27 years working with him at EFF, I can say that nothing could be further from the truth.

He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1969 and eventually returned to Wyoming, where he ran a cattle ranch for almost two decades and dabbled in libertarian and Republican politics, working on a congressional campaign for Richard B. Cheney, the future vice president in the George W. Bush administration.

The EFF's post announcing Barlow's death even addressed the more controversial aspects of his activism, including criticisms that he was a techno-utopian who didn't understand the dark side of the technological revolution that was to come. Survivors include three daughters and a granddaughter.

He eventually returned to school, but remained close with Weir, his songwriting partner on tracks including "Mexicali Blues", "Black-Throated Wind" and "Cassidy".

He contributed to 30 Grateful Dead songs, many with guitarist and singer Bob Weir, a founding member, and others with keyboardists Brent Mydland and Vince Welnick.


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