Speier: ‘Jury is still out’ on Snowden

Speier though added that Snowden had drawn attention to problems at the NSA.

“He has highlighted some extraordinary misdeeds,” she said.

Snowden has leaked a numerous classified documents to news organizations about top U.S. intelligence gathering programs.

The leaks have been the focal point of controversy over whether American privacy rights are being violated.

President Obama has called for Snowden to be prosecuted. But the former NSA employee has found temporary asylum in Russia, raising tensions with the U.S.’s former Cold War foe.

Speier said the government needs to establish a way for federal employees to draw the attention of an oversight body to potential missteps or privacy violations in the intelligence gathering process.

“We have got to create an avenue so that persons within the military, persons within the intelligence community and defense contractors can be able to report misdeeds without being subject to criminal prosecution,” she said.