John Perry Barlow is an American poet and essayist, a retired Wyoming cattle rancher, a cyberlibertarian, and entrepreneur. He is also a former lyricist for one of America’s legendary rock bands – The Grateful Dead – where he co-wrote many of the band’s staples such as Estimated Prophet, Cassidy, and Music Never Stopped.
A comparative-religions major at Wesleyan University, Barlow was at the forefront of the digital revolution, playing a big role in the growth of the WELL, one of the very first online communities. In 1990, he, along with John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor, founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to preserve and protect freedoms in computing, telecommunications, and the internet. Since 1998, Barlow has been a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Currenty, Barlow is co-founder and managing partner at Algae Systems, a company that is researching ways to convert sewage and CO2 into fuel and fertilizer.