FBI Chief: Americans Should be Suspicious of Government Power

Image: FBI Chief: Americans Should be Suspicious of Government Power

Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:24 PM

By Melanie Batley

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FBI Director James Comey said he understands why people are wary about the scope of government power and surveillance programs in the wake of Edward Snowden's leaks, adding that he is too.

"I believe people should be suspicious of government power. I am," Comey told a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Wednesday, The Hill reported.

"I think this country was founded by people who were worried about government power so they divided it among three branches," he added.

Comey said that in the months since Snowden's revelations, which sparked widespread concerns about privacy and government overreach, he has had a hard time sometimes "to find the space and time to talk about what I do and why I do it."

He said, however, that he felt the FBI's programs were run responsibly, adding that surveillance operations have been used to help find kidnappers and save children, the Hill reported.

Comey also said that cybersecurity is an "enormous" security risk that needs to be dealt with.

"There are two kinds of big companies in the United States: those who’ve been hacked by the Chinese and those who don't yet know that they've been hacked by the Chinese," Comey told lawmakers, according to The Washington Times.

The comments came just a few days after the Justice Department issued an indictment against five Chinese military officers, accusing them of hacking into American nuclear, metal, and solar companies to steal trade secrets. China has denied the charges.

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