US President Barack Obama said he is the "final user" of all intelligence gathered by the National Security Agency (NSA), but declined to comment on allegations that he knew the agency had spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
President Obama said the White House gives the NSA "policy direction", but that "their capacities continue to develop and expand."
"The national security operations generally have one purpose and that is to make sure that the American people are safe," he said.
The President made the comments during an interview with Fusion, a cable network jointly owned by ABC and Univision.
More top news
A video has been posted online by students at Nottingham Trent University showing an alleged intruder stuck in a window of a building.
As the Greek Prime Minister is sworn in, we take a look at the main planks of his party's economic plan for the country.
The forecast is generally calm, quiet and dry as an area of cloud gives way to the south east and moves off to the near continent.