Giants of cyberliberties, free talk in LA, Nov 14!

UPDATE: Mitch Kapor won't be able to make it to next Tuesday's Giants of Cyberliberties talk at USC. Mitch had some minor surgery and his recovery — though going well — is taking longer than expected, and he's been advised against travel. He's given me a rain check, so expect him to come back next semester for my undergrad course. We'll still have two dynamite speakers, of course: John Perry Barlow and John Gilmore. See you next Tuesday!

Next Tuesday, November 14, I'm presenting a rare chance to hear technology legends Mitch Kapor, John Gilmore and John Perry Barlow speak at a free event at the University of Southern California.

All three helped found the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but that's just for starters.

Mitch Kapor: Architecture is politics
Mitch Kapor also founded Lotus and created the ground-breaking spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3. He pioneered the "peering" that has become the norm for Internet service providers, and has gone on to lead social investing movements, as well as chairing the Open Source Applications Foundation and being a key player in the Mozilla Foundation.

John Gilmore: The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it
John Gilmore was employee number five at Sun Microsystems and was key
to the development of Solaris and the SPARC chip. He went on to
cofound the USENET alt. hierarchy, The Little Garden, an early
regional ISP, and Cygnus Support, the first big free software business
(now Red Hat). He continues to initiate and/or fund ground-breaking
free software projects like GNU Radio, BitTorrent, Gnash and
FreeS/WAN. He's an activist for individual rights, including
challenging secret laws and identification demands, starting the
Identity Project, funding and strategizing to end
prohibition of drugs, liberating and aiding the victims of Guantanamo,
and supporting other freedom-oriented charities.

John Perry Barlow: We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.
John Perry Barlow has had several careers — beginning as a Republican cattle-rancher who wrote lyrics for the Grateful Dead. In the early days of the public Internet, Barlow became famous as a kind of poet-laureate of the Internet, penning such influential documents as the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace. Barlow continues to serve as a powerful spokesman for online liberty.

It's exceedingly rare to have all three of these EFF founders on the same bill. In my five years of association with EFF, I've never been in the same room as all three, though I've come to know each of them well. These three activist/entrepreneur/artists were absolutely vital to the shape of the Internet as we know it today — they are living legends. Any one of them is worth seeing, but I can hardly contain my excitement at the thought of hearing all three together.

Space is limited, and Gilmore and Mitch have to leave right after the talk, so there won't be any extended events with all three. Arrive early to stake out your place! I'll post audio and possibly video after the event.

Where: University of Southern California main campus, Annenberg School of Communications, Room 207 (Los Angeles)
When: Tuesday, November 14, 7PM-9PM.


(Mitch Kapor photo via Smagdali's Flickr stream; John Gilmore photo by Carl Cheney; John Perry Barlow photo by Bart Nagel)