NSA documents leaker Edward Snowden speaks in Park City, Utah - KUTV 20151205

NSA documents leaker Edward Snowden speaks in Park City

The world's most famous -- or infamous -- leaker made his way to Utah Saturday evening.Edward Snowden spoke in Park City from an undisclosed location, over the Internet. He is presumed to be in Russia as he was granted asylum there in 2013 after leaking sensitive documents shedding light on secret government surveillance programs.

Hundreds turned out to the Park City Institute to hear Snowden speak.

Madison DeCamp, 17, was one of them. She skipped a high school dance to attend.

"Who cares about a dance?" DeCamp said. "Snowden's going to be here!"

Robotic technology allowed the crowd to hear from the 32-year-old Snowden. Radio personality Doug Fabrizio moderated the event.

"It's nice to be back in the USA, and I didn't even need a pardon," Snowden said to laughter.

Snowden told the audience that workers at the National Security Agency -- which has a location in Utah -- are "good people doing bad things for what they consider a just cause."

Snowden said while working at the NSA, he was changed when he came across a secret document. It showed the country was conducting surveillance on people around the world. He decided to tell journalists

"I admire what he did," said Salt Lake City resident Kirk Marshall, who attended the event. "I think it was a difficult decision that he had to make but it was one that I think our country needed to hear."

Snowden also commented on recent attacks in San Bernardino, California and Paris. He said those events are proof that surveillance does not work. Some politicians have called for that program to be renewed.

Snowden was asked about recent revelations that secret surveillance was conducted here during the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002. He declined to divulge any information about that, but he did note that wherever the Olympics goes, so does big surveillance.

Fabrizio, the moderator, noted that some people think of Snowden as a hero while others view him as a traitor.

Madison DeCamp thinks neither one is accurate. She just wants to better understand the man who's made such big waves.

"I think he's just a person that did what he thought was right," she said.

2News attempted to record Saturday's event for use in a news broadcast, but event organizers said our cameras were not allowed to record the event except for three minutes at the beginning. Otherwise, they said, having television media present would be "distracting."

2News protested, saying this was an event with large public interest, but our request was denied. Reporter Daniel Woodruff was allowed to sit in the auditorium during the event and take notes.

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