President Barack Obama tried
to strike a middle ground on Friday on questions about broad
surveillance practices conducted by the National Security
Agency, saying some checks are needed on the system but "we
can't unilaterally disarm."
At a White House news conference, Obama said he would spend
the next few weeks sorting through the recommendations of a
presidential advisory panel on how to rein in the National
Security Agency in the wake of disclosures from former US spy
contractor Edward Snowden.
Obama said it is possible that some bulk phone data
collected by intelligence agencies could be kept by private
companies instead of the US government
as a way of restoring
Americans' trust in the program.
"We can't unilaterally disarm," said Obama. But information
can be collected with more checks and balances, he said.