Nominations are now open for the 2020 Barlows to be presented at EFF's 29th Annual Pioneer Award Ceremony. Established in 1992, the Pioneer Award Ceremony recognizes leaders who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of technology. In honor of Internet visionary, Grateful Dead lyricist, and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, recipients are awarded a “Barlow," previously known as the Pioneer Awards. The nomination window will be open until 11:59pm Pacific time on June 30, 2020. You could nominate the next Barlow winner today!

What does it take to be a Barlow winner? Nominees must have contributed substantially to the health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based communications. Their contributions may be technical, social, legal, academic, economic or cultural. This year’s winners will join an esteemed group of past award winners that includes the visionary activist Aaron Swartz, global human rights and security researchers The Citizen Lab, open-source pioneer Limor "Ladyada" Fried, and whistle-blower Chelsea Manning, among many remarkable journalists, entrepreneurs, public interest attorneys, and others.

Three rectangular awards in clear acrylic. Front engraved with 2019 Barlow and danah boyd, Oakland Privacy, William Gibson, respectively.

2019 Barlows

The Pioneer Award Ceremony depends on the generous support of individuals and companies with passion for digital civil liberties. To learn about how you can sponsor the Pioneer Award Ceremony, please email

Remember, nominations are due no later than 11:59pm PDT on Wednesday, June 30th! After you nominate your favorite contenders, we hope you will consider joining our virtual event this fall to celebrate the work of the 2020 winners. If you have any questions or if you'd like to receive updates about the event, please email


Nominate your favorite digital rights hero now!