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Secretary Kerry vaguely says US surveillance 'reached too far' while defending overall program

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With reports on leaked documents regularly expanding the known breadth of NSA spying, Secretary of State John Kerry has reportedly begun acknowledging that the United States' surveillance has sometimes overstepped its bounds. "Yes, in some cases, it has reached too far inappropriately," Kerry told a London conference by video call, according to Al Jazeera. Kerry defended the bulk of the program however, stating beforehand, "I assure you, innocent people are not being abused in this process." Kerry seemingly didn't offer further detail as to what he felt was inappropriate, but he did cite 9 / 11 and other attacks as justification for gathering information.

Kerry will be setting out on a 10-day trip this Sunday, largely to smooth over relations in the Middle East. Kerry will also make a single stop in Europe, at Warsaw, Poland, where Al Jazeera suggests that the NSA's surveillance will likely be a subject of discussion. Members of the European Union have already begun pushing back against the United States' spying practices, with Poland's neighbor, Germany, particularly up in arms after reports that the NSA has been watching its chancellor's personal phone. While Kerry's statement doesn't promise any sort of change — his lines largely follow what the US has been saying all along — his concession that the surveillance has at times gone too far is something many will be eager to hear the US begin to acknowledge.