New FBI chief defends surveillance | Bangkok Post: news

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New FBI chief defends surveillance

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The FBI's new director says he supports the government's electronic surveillance programme as a useful, "legal" tool, even though he opposed eavesdropping activities under ex-president George W. Bush. 

Two weeks after taking over at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey said in an interview with AFP and several other news outlets that President Barack Obama's controversial spying policies were needed to counter a "metastasising" threat from Al-Qaeda.

The former federal prosecutor and Republican, who towers 2 metres tall, comes to the job amid a firestorm over far-reaching surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) and concerns over privacy rights, following dramatic leaks by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

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