Kerry: Some U.S. Spying Went ‘Too Far’

Surveillance activities sometimes happened on 'autopilot' says U.S. Secretary of State

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit to Germany this February.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry admitted for the first time on Thursday that in some cases the National Security Agency’s surveillance program reached too far.

“Innocent people are not being abused in this process, but there’s an effort to try to gather information, ” Kerry told an open government summit in London via video link. “In some cases, it has reached too far inappropriately,” he said.  Certain practices had been happening “on automatic pilot” without the knowledge of senior officials in the Obama administration,  said Kerry, adding that the U.S. is “going to make sure that it does not happen in the future.”

Kerry justified the collection of data as necessary due to the threat of terrorism, according to AFP. The Obama administration has put some distance between itself and the NSA in recent days, notes  the Guardian, amid anger from European leaders over reports that their countries’ communications have been intercepted.