Tech CEO says NSA surveillance is 'great, essential'

Oracle's Larry Ellison sees the agency's online spy program as necessary but not evil. That should please one of his company's biggest clients.

By Jason Notte Aug 14, 2013 3:15PM
The National Security Agency logo is shown on a computer screen at the NSA in Fort Meade, Maryland on January 25, 2006 (© Brooks Kraft/Corbis)Think the righteous anger of the tech world's generally libertarian upper echelons will save users from the National Security Agency's Prism data-monitoring program? Nope. Not even a little.


Larry Ellison, the chief executive of U.S. software giant Oracle (ORCL), told Charlie Rose that not only is he just fine with the NSA's collecting phone records and online user data but he thinks it's working.


"Who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government? In what way?" Ellison asked.


"Let me just hear you clearly," Rose said. "You were saying, 'Whatever the NSA's doing is OK with me'?"


"It's great," Ellison responded. "It's essential. By the way, President Obama thinks it's essential. It's essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes we just had in Boston. It's absolutely essential."


That's a bit more support for the administration than Ellison tends to give, judging by his campaign contributions last year. Ellison gave $20,000 to Republican candidates and $17,500 to Democrats.


It also distances Ellison from fellow tech CEOs like Facebook (FB) head Mark Zuckerberg and Google (GOOG) chief Larry Page, each of whom denied that the NSA had access to user data shortly after the Prism program was exposed two months ago by former government contractor Edward Snowden.


This isn't so much a political statement as it is a business plan. Oracle wasn't one of the companies linked to NSA surveillance programs, but the government is one of the biggest customers for Oracle's database management systems. If agents want to poke around, it's in Oracle's best interests to let them do so. To a point.


Even Ellison says there's a limit to just how welcome the government should be when it comes to perusing stored data. If government surveillance were used for "political targeting" rather than to investigate possible terror threats, Ellison says, that would be the limit of his patience with the program.


Until then, come in and make yourselves comfortable, folks.


More on moneyNOW

7Comments
Aug 14, 2013 5:32PM
avatar

government misuse of our private information?  Nahhhhhh, surely not.  Even the IRS wouldn't stoop that low...oh wait..................    

 

Raspeguy, you're right.  our information has been getting sold to god knows who for quite a while now. Do you ever wonder why it is that when you shop online for something the very thing you have been looking at starts popping up in ads as you are browsing.......even weeks and months later? Information is sold by each and every site we have ever given info to. The dollar wins over everything...period.

I'd have to agree that Ellison probably did support the annointed one.

 

Aug 14, 2013 8:55PM
avatar

What a lackey.  How embarrassing!

Aug 14, 2013 6:06PM
avatar

Hope and change.  mmm, mmm, mmm!

Aug 14, 2013 7:03PM
avatar
The company responsible for software that has the security equivalent of swiss cheese claims that NSA system is okay. Is that the justification for leaving all of those gaping security flaws in MySQL and Java?
Aug 14, 2013 4:28PM
avatar

Billionaire LARRY ELLISON is parasitic P.O.S. who like so many of his ilk would sell his mother to make a $.  He didn't serve in the military and didn't take an oath "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States..."  So why should he and his scummy minions care if "our" individual rights and liberties are trampled.

 

My guess is he supported Obama, like so many other wealthy, liberal Jewish Americans who seem to be oblivious to the fact that they have voted against their own best interests.

Aug 14, 2013 5:36PM
avatar

Even Ellison says there's a limit to just how welcome the government should be when it comes to perusing stored data. If government surveillance were used for "political targeting" rather than to investigate possible terror threats, Ellison says, that would be the limit of his patience with the program.

But by the time he notices what is going on and the trouble that was caused it will be to late. We CAN NOT trust the U.S.Government period.

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?

MARKET UPDATE

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market welcomed the new trading week with a mixed session that saw relative strength among large-cap stocks, while high-beta names underperformed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3%) and S&P 500 (-0.1%) finished near their flat lines, while the Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 both lost 1.1%.

Equities began the day on a cautious note amid continued concerns regarding the strength of the global economy. Over the weekend, China reported its first decline ... More

MSN MONEY'S