(The following is a curation of links from my perspective, as I read through @aaronsw's death).
Aaron Swartz's body was found in his New York apartment on Saturday 12 of Jan, 2013. Here lies a man that helped create liberty and freedom for many of us, with his strong personal beliefs in open data, and his ability to do something about it.
I started following this story on Sunday evening, and as I dived deeper I found more and more of interest. The Ars Technica story started this little trip down the rabbit hole:
Aaron had prepared for his inevitable end a while ago, and his activity around keeping data open and free continue even though he himself is inactive.
My initial reaction, which I discussed with my wife, was the simple realization of the injustice of a potential 35 year sentence. A sentence based on little other than Aaron accessing data that he was allowed to access, as outlined here:
I hadn't realised that he had worked as closely with ThoughtWorks, my current working space, as he had. I walked into an office whose mood was even more pained than my own last night. So this story crept closer.
It's not fair to make this purely about the trial, however. Aaron was depressed, and notably so. In discussions with people that had met him, and worked closely with him, it became evident that regardless of the current environment Aaron had a darker spirit. "I don't know whether it was just his deep intellect, but you could hear the anguish in his voice. Always wanting to make the world better." said one of the people that I spoke to today. While the US government will, and should, receive a lot of flack for what was happening in Aaron's life, there is an important underlying message which is being lost. Depression in of itself is a difficult cross to bear.
But there is a lesson in this tragedy which is attached to government response, I think Lawrence Lessig, an internet freedom fighter who worked closely with Aaron said it here:
Do what you can to make the world a better place, make something amazing, support the EFF(http://www.eff.org), and keep the world open.