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The Boston Globe

Nation

FBI nominee defends US intelligence gathering

Would advocate transparency as director, he says

James Comey, President Obama’s nominee to be director of the FBI, defended the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs as a critical tool for counterterrorism but said he would be open to more transparency about the secret court that oversees the government’ s collection operations.

‘‘I’m not familiar with the details of the current programs,’’ Comey said Tuesday during a 2½-hour confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. ‘‘Obviously, I haven’t been cleared for anything like that. I do know that as a general matter that the collection of metadata and analysis of metadata is a valuable tool in counterterrorism.’’

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