Leakers and journalists should be prosecuted, Peter King says

Photo: CNN

Edward Snowden's leak of classified details of National Security Agency surveillance programs is sparking widespread debate on how that kind of sensitive information is handled by everyone, from the public to the media.

Snowden came forward on Sunday to The Guardian, outing himself as the man who gave journalists documents on the secret programs. While the White House makes plans to go after alleged whistleblowers like Snowden, at least one lawmaker thinks journalists should be held responsible as well.

Appearing on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 on Tuesday night, New York Rep. Peter King say leakers and reporters alike should be prosecuted for their roles.

"If they willingly knew that this was classified information, I think action should be taken," King told Cooper. "There is an obligation, both moral but also legal, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security."

The FBI is attempting to build a case against Snowden, who went into hiding in Hong Kong after the leak and says he will try to get asylum.