Kerry: Obama didn't order all NSA spying

Nov 12, 2013, 2:14 AM EST
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses a final press conference closing the third day of talks on Iran's nuclear program, on November 10, 2013 in Geneva.
AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says his counterparts in other nations know President Barack Obama didn't order up all the snooping that the National Security Agency conducted abroad.

While traveling in the United Arab Emirates, Kerry told the BBC that his foreign counterparts have been understanding about the recent revelations of widespread NSA surveillance, and know that the Obama administration is trying to find a way forward that can fight terrorism in a way that respects privacy.

Kerry says Obama didn't personally order all the various types of snooping that have been revealed by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden — that the scope of the NSA work evolved over a long period of time.

Earlier, Kerry said in Warsaw that Europeans and others have "legitimate" questions about the surveillance.