FBI nominee says surveillance can be valuable tool

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration’s nominee to become the next FBI director has told senators that FBI surveillance programs are subject to strict oversight designed to ensure that individual privacy rights are not violated.

James Comey said he’s not familiar with details of the government’s phone and Internet surveillance program. But he also said that collecting that type of information can be “a valuable tool” in counterterrorism.

Comey appeared Tuesday before a friendly Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering his nomination for FBI director. Both Democrats and Republicans spoke approvingly of Comey’s past record in government.

Comey says federal judges who oversee government intelligence programs are “anything but a rubber stamp.” But he agreed to work with committee chairman Patrick Leahy on what Leahy calls “common sense improvements” to surveillance laws.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

blog comments powered by Disqus