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Infowar: A View From the Battlefield

NYC: June 13, 2012

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John Perry Barlow is a retired Wyoming cattle rancher, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization which promotes freedom of expression in digital media. He currently serves as its Vice Chairman. Since May of 1998, he has been a Fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

He has written for a wild diversity of publications, ranging from Communications of the ACM to The New York Times to Nerve°. He was on the masthead of Wired for many years. His piece for Wired on the future of copyright, The Economy of Ideas, is now taught in many law schools. His manifesto, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, has been widely distributed on the Net and can be found on more than 20,000 sites.

In recent years, he has devoted much of his time and energy helping to "wire" the Southern Hemisphere to the North and has traveled extensively in Africa. His Wired piece, "Africa Rising" describes the first of these journeys. More recently, he has been working with Brazil's Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, in an effort to get all of Brazil's music online.

In June of 1999, FutureBanker Magazine (an ABA Publication) named him "One of the 25 Most Influential People in Financial Services," even though he isn't in financial services. He was the first to apply William Gibson's science fiction term Cyberspace to the already-existing global electronic social space now generally referred to by that name. Until his naming it, it had not been considered any sort of place. He was called "the Thomas Jefferson of Cyberspace" by Yahoo Internet Life Magazine.

He was born in Wyoming in 1947, was educated there in a one room schoolhouse, and graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut with an honors degree in comparative religion in 1969. He lives in Pinedale, Wyoming (75 miles from the nearest stoplight or franchise), New York's Chinatown, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, On The Road, and in Cyberspace.

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