John Perry Barlow, one of the founders of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and frontline theorists of the internet society, authored “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” available below, addressed to world leaders in 1996. Already it was getting clear that the internet would be battle ground.
“Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”
The same Barlow commented on the first attack on and defense of Wikileaks began by the end of 2010 tweeted the following: “The first serious information war has begun. The battlefield is Wikileaks and you are the armies.” The Arab Spring followed shortly.
Barlow who was also a lyricist for the band the Grateful Dead, extended the career he offset with literature in his later years to the theory and development of the internet. Although Barlow’s theories on the internet was often criticised, especially by hackers for being “too optimistic”, it is clear that from it’s early stages he provided a vision for the giant world web’s influence.