The founders of two popular Web sites and a nonprofit advocacy organization are recipients of the annual Pioneer Awards from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The EFF said the winners "all represent vital, community-building organizations dedicated to spreading knowledge in or about our digital world."
Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and Chief Executive Jim Buckmaster were honored for running a mostly free classified-ads Web site that helps people with such basic needs as housing and jobs.
Jimmy Wales won for his role creating and overseeing Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia that lets anyone contribute. The collaboration now has some 4 million articles in more than 200 languages.
The EFF also recognized Gigi Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, for her role championing the public's rights on intellectual property and technology policy.
The 15th annual awards were being given Wednesday at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in Washington, D.C.