FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump vows to get rid of 'stench' at DOJ, FBI House Judiciary on NY Times article: I intend to subpoena 'McCabe Memos' Hillicon Valley: NYT says Rosenstein wanted to wear wire on Trump | Twitter bug shared some private messages | Vendor put remote-access software on voting machines | Paypal cuts ties with Infowars | Google warned senators about foreign hacks MORE said in an interview broadcast Sunday night that the bureau wants cyber criminals “looking over their shoulders when they’re sitting at a keyboard.”

ADVERTISEMENT

During a “60 Minutes” interview, Comey outlined resources committed to rooting out cyber crime, including a headquarters for those investigations called “CyWatch” that coordinates with the CIA and the National Security Agency and is located in a top-secret location.

The prime-time interview, in part, explored the century-old bureau’s entry into the 21st century of law enforcement and its efforts to not only crack down on foreign criminals that hack into American companies but also piece together how terrorists are evolving.

Even while displaying the reach of the FBI, Comey said he understands — and appreciates — a distrust of the American government.

“I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power,” he said. “You cannot trust people in power.”

On his desk, Comey keeps a 1963 request from former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, signed by then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy, allowing for surveillance on Martin Luther King Jr., whom the government suspected of being a communist.

“No time limit. No space restriction. No review. No oversight,” Comey said about the agreement, which he says keeps him grounded about what the government should and should not be doing.

In the interview, Comey also recalls disagreements with the Bush administration in 2004 over its warrantless wiretapping program, saying that much of it was illegal.

Those disagreements led him to proffer his resignation — he served at the time as deputy attorney general — to President George W. Bush, who later made changes to the program that Comey ultimately reauthorized.

Asked if the FBI now conducts surveillance without a court order, Comey replied: “No. we don’t do electronic surveillance without a court order.”

“We cannot read your emails or listen to your calls without going to a federal judge, making a showing of probable cause … and get permission for a limited period of time to intercept those communications,” he said.

Meanwhile, the agency is being sued for using national security letters, which have been in existence since the 1970s, to obtain a consumer’s financial or communications records from companies in the process of a national security investigation. The letters allow the agency to go around the courts, while often imposing a gag order on the companies to prevent disclosure.