He said many of the surveillance practices were carried out "on automatic pilot, because the technology is there and the ability is there."
Speaking to a conference in London via viedolink, Mr Kerry promised that a review of National Security Agency surveillance work would result in some spying activities being halted altogether.
"The president and I have learned of some things that have been happening in many ways on an automatic pilot, because the technology is there and the ability is there," he said.
"I assure you, innocent people are not being abused in this process, but there's an effort to try to gather information, but in some cases, some of these actions have reached too far and we are going to try to make sure it doesn't happen in the future."
watch his nose ...............