Feeds

John Kerry bombshell: 'Yes, the NSA... reached TOO FAR, inappropriately'

But the US Secretary of State remains defiant amid global surveillance outrage

US Secretary of State John Kerry has issued a rare mea culpa on behalf of the US government and its NSA surveillance platforms.

Speaking at a panel discussion for the Open Government Partnership, Kerry said that in its efforts to thwart terrorists, the US had gone "too far" in its collection of personal data, but insisted that reports of massive data hoarding were untrue.

"I assure you, innocent people are not being abused in this process," Kerry said, "but there is an effort to gather information, and yes, in some cases it has reached too far, inappropriately."

"Our President is determined to clarify and is now doing a thorough review in order that nobody will have a sense of abuse."

Sentiment of such a "sense of abuse" has been rampant among both the domestic and international communities in recent days.

Earlier this week, a number of major providers, including Google and Yahoo, were found to have unwittingly supplied the government with some 180 million records via NSA surveillance programs.

The disclosure adds to an already hefty government data repository first uncovered with the revelation of the PRISM platform by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the now-infamous consultant living under asylum in Russia.

Further reports from the international community have suggested that the spying activities have also extended to the diplomatic arena, as reports out of Germany indicated that US agents may have tapped lines of communication used by government officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Even when fessing up to the use of heavy-handed tactics, Kerry remained defiant on the most recent reports, denying that tens of millions of people were having their data slurped through the NSA pipeline.

"There is a tremendous amount of exaggeration and misreporting in some of what is out there," he said.

"What we are trying to do is, in a random way, find ways of trying to learn if in fact there is a threat that we need to respond to." ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.