On July 9 the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved James Comey’s nomination for FBI Director. While there were many issues on the table, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s attention focused on his opposition to warrantless wiretapping under the Bush administration. The power of that moment in the minds of committee members seemed to overpower his track record on torture. Amongst the controversial issues surrounding Comey’s nomination, NSA surveillance has become one of the top concerns.
In case you have forgotten, the extent of this surveillance allows for the collection of “the numbers of both parties on a call, location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls.”
How this relates to the FBI is clear: it was the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) who granted this court order to the FBI on April 25, 2013. Whoever becomes the new top law enforcement officer of the United States will be in charge of this data collection. Comey, who in the past has disproved and questioned the legality of the PATRIOT Act’s warrantless wiretaps, may become the person in charge of collecting massive amounts of warrantless phone data.