It's a sad essay. Peters fails, I think, in accepting uncritically the assertion of Swartz's family and partner that he was not depressed--I know myself that bursts of energy and even apparent good humour such as are described can co-exist interspersed with periods of intense depression, even masking it--and possibly underplays the extent to which Swartz's actions were legally indefensible. (Hardwiring a computer into the MIT network, arguably, is a significant escalation from merely using WiFi.)
There is extensive commentary on Peters' article. I'd point readers to one post by Crooked Timber's Henry Farrell broadly sympathetic to Swartz's goals, another by the Volokh Conspiracy's Orin Kerr that's more critical of the goals and Peters' analysis of the legal situation of Swartz.
One of the elements of the conclusion of Peters' analysis is speculation about the long-term consequences of Swartz's death.
Swartz’s memorial services and countless online tributes have served as platforms for suggesting how to honor his legacy: reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, facilitate open access to academic journals, use public records laws to unshackle government information. The Anonymous collective, for its part, hacked MIT on the night of Jan. 13, taking the school’s network down with a denial-of-service attack and posting a list of “Our wishes.” Among those wishes: “reform of computer crime laws,” “reform of copyright and intellectual copyright law,” and “a renewed and unwavering commitment to a free and unfettered internet, spared from censorship with a equality of access and franchise for all.”
What think you all?