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Pardon Edward Snowden?

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If Edward Snowden expects clemency, he'll need to at least acknowledge that, and convince us that reigning in the NSA doesn't give the green light to the bad guys. Who, come to think of it, could probably hack the traffic lights too. (AP Photo/File)

A New York Times editorial says NSA-leaker Edward Snowden has done America a service by disclosing the extent of our government’s “curiosity” – and therefore deserves Presidential clemency.

But national security analyst Juan Zarate points out, “The administration doesn’t even know all the information that Snowden has stolen. It would be wholly premature.”

And I think there’s another factor: As more and more of our lives are completely linked to computers – someone’s got to keep tabs on the overseas and domestic groups that seek to break them. It’s clearly not going to be your home anti-virus program. I get anti-virus updates every day and still we hear about breach after breach.

And the advice we get to deal with it?

“Monitor your accounts closely. Look for unauthorized activity, says Security expert Richard Sicilian. “Make sure you’re not using the same password for multiple accounts. Have updated anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and a firewall.”

Yikes! That sounds like a full-time job. Most of us are still trying to get a handle on our credit card statements.

We now trust the internet for everything from the family photos to the family nest egg – and yet it seems to be getting less and less secure.

Which brings us back to Snowden. The NSA may be intrusive, but there is a real enemy out there that it’s trying to stop.

And if Edward Snowden expects clemency, he’ll need to at least acknowledge that, and convince us that reigning in the NSA doesn’t give the green light to the bad guys. Who, come to think of it, could probably hack the traffic lights too.

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