The EFF is looking for nominations for Pioneer Awards which will recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. I don’t know if they will make posthumous awards or not, but if they do, I hope they’ll consider my nomination for:
The very first time I saw the Electronic Frontier Foundation blue ribbon badge was on Martin Bosworth’s boztopia website (and it’s been on mine ever since). I stumbled upon Martin accidentally when I was trying to learn about usage based billing (what you call metered broadband) and just beginning to learn about internet freedom, net neutrality etc. He patiently explained things to me, a total stranger, a noob from a different country.
He wrote an article (which may or may not be lost forever since his ISP started shutting his site down before his grieving family realized it was happening) about the “digital divide.” Martin explained how metered broadband will make the gap between rich and poor even worse. Utility companies have begun to provide economic incentives to customers who pay bills online, which leaves those who can’t even afford to be online paying larger bills and being even worse off.
Martin was the 7th person I subscribed to on the Identi.ca microblogging service. Although I never met Martin in person, he certainly made an impression on me, and I believe a great many others as well. I was shocked and saddened to learn of his untimely passing at the age of 35.
I believe Martin Bosworth was both a humanitarian and an internet freedom fighter who worked hard to promote positive technical, social, economic, or cultural aspects of the Internet and the world, which is why I’m nominating him for a Pioneer Award.