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Edward Snowden / CHANNEL 4, AFP/Getty Images

In the run-up to Friday's speech on National Security Agency surveillance, some wondered if President Obama would mention NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

And he did -- twice.

At one point, Obama noted that the government might like to prosecute Snowden for divulging details of NSA activities, triggering the government review that led to the president's speech.

"Given the fact of an open investigation, I'm not going to dwell on Mr. Snowden's actions or his motivations," Obama said at one point. "I will say that our nation's defense depends in part on the fidelity of those entrusted with our nation's secrets."

He added: "If any individual who objects to government policy can take it into their own hands to publicly disclose classified information, then we will not be able to keep our people safe, or conduct foreign policy.

"Moreover, the sensational way in which these disclosures have come out has often shed more heat than light, while revealing methods to our adversaries that could impact our operations in ways that we may not fully understand for years to come."

Snowden is currently living in Russia, which granted him political asylum.

Obama also mentioned Snowden in saying that the United States is not the only nation that spies on other nations, even allies:

"We know that the intelligence services of other countries -- including some who feign surprise over the Snowden disclosures -- are constantly probing our government and private sector networks, and accelerating programs to listen to our conversations, and intercept our emails, and compromise our systems. We know that."



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Obama mentions Snowden (twice)

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