Have you ever heard of Leon Theremin? If you don't know him but you like electronic music or have ever used a toll road transponder, or even if you've noticed the square tag on the side of a peanut butter jar at the grocery store, you have Leon Theremin to thank. The early 20th century Russian-born inventor developed technologies that have and will continue to change our world.
All countries with adequate resources have intelligence agencies like CSEC and CSIS. Countries have oversight mechanisms to assure these agencies' political masters -- including legislators from both government and opposition parties -- that the agencies are not breaking the laws of their country or otherwise operating outside their mandate. Canada has no such oversight mechanisms. Or, rather, Canada's mechanisms are so feeble and after-the-fact that nobody can assure ordinary Canadian citizens that their own intelligence agencies are being held to account.
His motivation aside, there is no debate that Snowden broke the law and should go to prison. But his methods are important and will determine what happens next. U.S. lawmakers have been demanding answers from intelligence officials on how Snowden, a high-school dropout, got his hands on the country's top-secret programs.