In Pictures: High-tech heroes and zeros: 2013's best and worst (so far)

Which tech newsmakers have made the biggest splash so far this year, and which have gone splat?

Hero: Ed Snowden I get it: If Snowden were truly a hero, he might have stayed in the United States when he made his disclosures and hoped for public opinion to be on his side. But whatever his motivations, Snowden performed a valuable service by exposing the secret reach of the NSA and the complicity of the courts and Congress in allowing it. By staying in the limelight (and out of Guantanamo Bay) he gave journalists motivation to move the story forward instead of burying it. The result was a remarkable series of disclosures that built upon what Snowden uncovered. Other whistleblowers have tried and failed to warn us about the insatiable appetite of the industrial surveillance complex; Snowden succeeded. That's heroism in my book.

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