FBI's Comey: 'You're stuck with me for another 6½ years'

Speaking from a cyber security conference in Boston Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey said he plans to finish out the entirety of his 10-year term.

"You're stuck with me for another six and a half years", Comey said.

Comey said he's always favored "strong encryption" but added that "it is making more and more of the room of what the FBI investigates dark".

Comey's assurances that such data gathering was always "reviewable in court" was little comfort, given the increased federal reliance on secret surveillance courts, who exist exclusively to rubber stamp secret orders allowing broad surveillance operations that would otherwise be illegal.

Comey acknowledged that Americans enjoy a reasonable expectations of privacy in our homes, cars, and devices. "We should never have to sacrifice one for the other", said Comey after discussing the spike of encryption use since NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the agency's spying practices in 2013.

But Comey did say it's vital for the government to have a "good reason" that's "reviewable in court" if it's going to invade the private lives of citizens.

He reportedly ignored questions about President Donald Trump's accusations of former president Barack Obama authorising wiretapping.

His comments also come in the wake of President Trump's tweets over the weekend which accused the Obama administration of illegally wiretapping Trump Tower during the election.

Days before the election, Comey sent a letter to Congress explaining that emails related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were under Federal Bureau of Investigation review.

"I love strong encryption", Comey said, and said his agency should work with humility toward finding a way with Apple to lawfully open encrypted devices. Comey was scheduled to speak with Newseum CEO Jeffrey Hebst about the much debated email controversy that plagued Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

  • Salvatore Jensen