If you never knew Aaron Swartz before the terrible news of his suicide this past weekend, take a moment to watch this video, where the late, 26-year-old Internet pioneer explains how he became involved in the successful, Internet-backed campaign to defeat congress's overreaching SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy laws.

In the clip, from the Freedom to Connect conference last year, Swartz is eminently congenial, thoughtful, articulate and passionate about free speech and an open Internet— the kind of person of whom we are sorely in need as attempts to further regulate and codify the parameters of the Web continue to pick up steam.

Swartz will be buried tomorrow in Chicago.

[via Mashable]