July 22, 2013

Wyden Letter to Comey Seeks FBI Director Nominee’s Views on Surveillance Activities

Washington, D.C. – As former U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Comey’s nomination to become the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is being considered by the U.S. Senate, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent Mr. Comey a letter seeking his views on current and former U.S. surveillance activities.

Mr. Comey served as the Deputy Attorney General during the Administration of President George W. Bush and was involved in the legal debate surrounding Bush-era surveillance activities.  If confirmed as FBI Director, he will oversee a large number of surveillance activities within the U.S. and will coordinate the FBI’s relationship with the NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies.

“One of the FBI Director's most important responsibilities is to ensure that the Bureau's investigative and surveillance authorities are managed in a way that protects both public safety and the privacy and civil liberties of ordinary Americans,” Wyden wrote in the letter. “I would therefore like to clarify your views on several aspects of government surveillance authorities, so that I can properly evaluate your nomination.”

Wyden is seeking public responses to questions about Mr. Comey’s views on warrantless wiretapping, bulk phone records collection, and the government’s authority to obtain geolocation data.  He is also seeking information about Mr. Comey’s views on surveillance activities that were conducted while he served as Deputy Attorney General.

Please click here to read the letter.