Obama says US needs checks and balances on intelligence collection but can't disarm

President Barack Obama triedto strike a middle ground on Friday on questions about broadsurveillance practices conducted by the National SecurityAgency, saying some checks are needed on the system but "wecan't unilaterally disarm."

At a White House news conference, Obama said he would spendthe next few weeks sorting through the recommendations of apresidential advisory panel on how to rein in the NationalSecurity Agency in the wake of disclosures from former US spycontractor Edward Snowden.

Obama said it is possible that some bulk phone datacollected by intelligence agencies could be kept by privatecompanies instead of the US government as a way of restoringAmericans' trust in the program.

"We can't unilaterally disarm," said Obama. But informationcan be collected with more checks and balances, he said.