Edward Snowden to speak publically for the first time since last summer

(NBC News) - We're expecting several developments today on the review of secret government spying programs.

Edward Snowden, the man who exposed those programs, is speaking out directly to the public for the first time since last summer, beginning at 2 p.m. Central, on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a government task force will recommend some sweeping changes to how the national security agency does business.

The former NSA contractor Snowden will answer questions live on-line this afternoon about the government secrets he leaked to the world.

"It is our firm position that he ought to return to the United States and face the charges against him," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

The spying programs Snowden exposed are now under heavy scrutiny.

In a report due out today, a government task force is expected to recommend that the National Security Agency stop collecting Americans' phone records.

In a split decision, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will also say the government should purge its huge database.

In a speech last week, President Obama laid out reforms but stopped short of getting rid of the programs.

"We cannot unilaterally disarm our intelligence agencies. The review group turned up no indication that this database has been intentionally abused," the President said.

Verizon reports it's received more than a thousand requests from the government for customers' information in the last year.