AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - NSA leaker Edward Snowden was the star attraction at the South by Southwest festival today.
He spoke from his hideout in Russia.
Snowden addressed the festival in a video conference from Moscow.
The former government contractor said the world has benefitted from his disclosures about US surveillance practices.
"When it comes to would I do this again, the answer is absolutely yes," he said.
Snowden answered questions with an image of the US constitution projected behind him.
"I saw the constitution was violated on a massive scale," he said.
Snowden- a wanted man in the US - hid his exact location using a high-tech hookup that turned into shaky television.
He accused the national security agency of creating what he called an "adversarial internet."
They're setting fire to the future of the internet, and the people who are in this room now, you guys are the firefighters," Snowden said.
Snowden's conference not only drew huge crowds at the Austin convention center. at least 50,000 people logged on to watching him streaming live on the internet.
"I was on the fence about how i felt about him," said an audience member, "but I've come out feeling like he felt like he was doing the right thing for the country and I kind of agree."
Snowden is charged with several felonies in the US including espionage for leaking classified information about government spying and data collection to media outlets.
Snowden also said intelligence leads have been missed because of a lack of focus, and surveillance that's too widespread