James Comey,a former Bush administration official who once opposed illegal wiretapping,has been nominated by US President Barack Obama as the new head of the FBI amid a national debate over the governments secret surveillance programme.
If confirmed by the Senate,the 52-year-old former hedge fund executive would succeed Robert Mueller and serve a 10-year term.
Comey is best known for his face-off against the White House officials in 2004 over the legality of the eavesdropping programme of the National Security Agency.
He was previously the deputy Attorney General under George W Bush. He refused to sign off on a domestic eavesdropping programme where the National Security Agency wiretapped phone calls without warrants.
Obama,whose own administration is now beset by a stream of disclosures over secret government surveillance,referred to the episode as he nominated Comey to lead the FBI.
In nominating Comey,Obama said the former Justice Department official will help strike a balance between the need for information on terrorist plots and respecting Americans privacy.