back to article Larry Ellison: Google is ABSOLUTELY EVIL, but NSA is ESSENTIAL

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has nothing but praise for the US National Security Agency's domestic surveillance programs, but he's far less kind when it comes to Google – and in particular its CEO, Larry Page, whose behavior he describes as "evil." "I know his slogan is 'don't be evil,'" Ellison told correspondent Charlie Rose in …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oracle--the official database of the Five Eyes!!

Not only were the Tsaernaevs on the radar already thanks to a Russian tip off, they also IIRC posted various islamist rants to Facebook. That is, the same Facebook that the NSA has a back door into in order to spot terrorists.

As for Larry's rhetorical question about government misusing information, one needs only look as far as J Edgar Hoover's abuses of his position at the FBI to see how dirt on anyone and everyone can be used.

That is the real reason for NSA surveillance. The Boston bombers killed 3 people. Drink drivers kill more every night in the US.

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WTF?

He actually said that ?

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

I thought this was a rhetorical part of the headline. I had no idea the idiot actually used those words. I mean he has heard of McCarthy and Hoover, hasn't he ?

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Re: He actually said that ?

I would rephrase the question as "He has heard of Obama hasn't he?"

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Facepalm

Re: He actually said that ?

"Who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government?"

Well we don't know because it's all.. secret. I'm positive if a reasonable person could audit the cases and what's being looked at we could hear pretty quickly.

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Re: He actually said that ?

It hasn't been misused by the government.

It has been used by the government in exactly the way that they wanted.

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Re: He actually said that ?

Having installed and maintained Oracle DBMS I'm far from a Larry E. fan. He had a point, however. It really is not enough to say that McCarthy and Hoover did bad things - they did it the old fashioned way, with paper files and intimidation, and they did it for real, long before the NSA was doing anything like what it is doing now. It also is not enough to say that because the information NSA collects could be used for bad things, it necessarily is true that it has been. It may have been, but there is not a lot of evidence that the present or past governments have committed actual abuse of the data unless you consider the military use of NSA intelligence products to be abuse.

The problem, from the internal U. S. perspective, is that it does things that go beyond, and in some cases well beyond, what we think are the Constitutional limits of government action or the law should allow (there is no requirement that the law allow everything the Constitution would permit). That, coupled with the fact that as it is understood at present, it certainly could be used by a future government to identify dissenters for special attention and harassment. And it needs therefore to be stopped, or at least very severely restricted as to internal use and handled much more openly than the present FISA court procedures allow.

As far as those not in the U. S. are concerned it is likely to continue to be much as it is no matter what, just as many or most other countries are going to keep on doing the same type of thing to the maximum extent of their capabilities. Some of them doubtless will screen and analyze the date they can acquire with as diligent attention to their citizens' communication as to any other.

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Re: He actually said that ?

>special attention and harassment

Like that previously applied to Laura Poitras (Glenn Greenwald's (mostly) silent partner in reporting the Snowden leaks)? (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/magazine/laura-poitras-snowden.html )

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Happy

Some sanity

@tom dial - Thank You

I don't belong to the "OMG NSA are EVIL, destroy all government" crowd who seem to be spewing all over these boards and to be honest was getting quite tired of all the angst. However I'm glad that you can post a sane and well thought out argument for placing further limits than currently seem to be in place, whilst not just simply claiming that all US security agencies are pure evil and destroying every freedom you have. It's a breath of fresh air and one that has genuinely made me question my opinion (not saying if it changed it or not).

If more discussion about this subject were along the rational lines of your post we might actually reach a constructive consensus. Too much of this debate has been along ludicrous lines of: paranioa with a lack of perspective, versus blind faith in authority - i.e. not really an adult debate at all.

Thank you for showing that we can have some rational discussion

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He actually said that ?

"there is not a lot of evidence that the present or past governments have committed actual abuse of the data unless you consider the military use of NSA intelligence products to be abuse"

There usually isn't at first. The agencies have a lot of power and can sit on their abuses for decades. But the evidence is that given power people will mis-use it. Given a lot of power, they'll misuse it a lot.

Plus, all else aside, we know that they have broken the constitutional rules which, in a constitutional republic is "abuse" by definition.

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FAIL

Re: Some sanity, defined as BLIND

Sport, you're probably one of those people who laughed at me when I said the government would be doing these things. Must be a terrible shock to find out they do after all.

OK, let's look at how the NSA and other government agencies qualify as "evil".

Trashed the protections guaranteed by Constitutional Amendments.

Lied about it. Apply the draconian power of government to punish anyone who tells.

When caught red-handed, lie more, use doublespeak to dodge straight questions, and use US domestic policy to attack the whistleblowers.

Using the government's own argument against it, if they're not doing anything wrong, why the need to hide?

Why cover up an activity you're proud of? And finally, if it's so LEGAL, why not do it legally, instead of bypassing most of the laws designed to protect us?

GAME. SET. AND MATCH to the so-called paranoid.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He actually said that ?

@Tom Dial - The question isn't whether the NSA is bad per se, but whether Ellison was an idiot for stating (paraphrased) 'No govt. has abused data collected on citizens'. Whether it was collected electronically or by phone-taps and informants doesn't matter. Govts. that spy on their own citizens will eventually use that information to damage citizens that they find inconvenient.

This is a simple historical fact.

A more honest statement would be - 'No govt. in recorded history has ever refrained from using information collected on its citizens, against its citizens'

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Re: He actually said that ?

That, coupled with the fact that as it is understood at present, it certainly could be used by a future has been used by the current government to identify dissenters for special attention and harassment

There, fixed that for you (unless you're gullible enough to believe that the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS wasn't 'special attention and harassment').

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Beardy tosspot

So how can the rest of the world vote the NSA away, or GCHQ for that matter.

Having spent 3 says trying to get shitty Oracle products working via a content switch, where the Oracle support team where telling us not to do completely normal things because their products couldn't cope with it.

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Gimp

CEO of major suppliers says biggest customer is a great guy.

""The great thing is that we live in a democracy. If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government," "

Because the American people voted to be spied upon in the first place, right, Larry?

Like f**k they did.

This was the work of the people behind the people who wrote THE PATRIOT Act and a group of high level Intelligence bureaucrats.

Because they could This is data fetishism. It's irrational.

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You can vote the president away, and even senators and other reps. But they're not the people doing this kind of surveillance. They use it when they get in power, but throwing the democrats out and putting the republicans in will do exactly one tenth of sweet f-all to this kind of crap in the background. Both sides will happily use whatever the others have left in place. It's the same nasty motel, just with an "under new management" sign in the window to think that maybe, maybe it's better than it was last time you stayed there.

Hell, even if one side or the other commits to dismantle the NSA if you vote for them, there's nothing keeping them to that. They can simply break their promise and you still have to put up with them for another 4 years. Isn't that right Mr President? Nudge nudge wink wink Guantanamo...

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Exactly

All I really ask is that the motel's next crew not take direction from the cockroaches like they last several have.

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h3

Even Bill Gates at his worst when he was running Microsoft was far less bad than Oracle / Google / Apple would have been. (And now it is like comparing Jesus Christ to Satan).

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Last time I saw an interview with Larry he came off like he was medicated. No I don't mean weed I mean like Xanax, zoloft, seroquel, haldon. He said that he is a lot calmer now. Not as angry like he use to me.

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Flame

Bill gates was part massively naive, and part didn't really care. You're right these people are implicitly evil because they intend to do the harm that they do.

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Devil

Have you no decency, man?

Really, Larry (Ellison)? You're so caught up in your disdain bordering on hatred) for "the other Larry" that the best you can do as a point of comparison is the NSA?!?

You are one sad little man.

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Misuse ?

Nah, couldn't possibly happen - just ask Rosa di Fiore

"All this Aussie family wanted to do was fly to the USA to meet Mickey Mouse.

Instead, they were detained and mistaken for the Mafia. "

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Facepalm

Copying someone else's stuff ..

"I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff. It really bothers me"

Said the man who sees nothing wrong in taking Red Hat for nothing ..

"If an open source product gets good enough, we'll simply take it .. Take [the web server software] Apache: once Apache got better than our own web server, we threw it away and took Apache. So the great thing about open source is nobody owns it -- a company like Oracle is free to take it for nothing"

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how would we know if it has been missed use

May be Ellison would like to us how we would learn whether this data have been misuse, as everyone involve have to swear secrecy and are barred from talking about such programmes.

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"Not to worry. The NSA couldn't catch a cold." - Bernard Madoff

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This would be an excellent time to short Oracle. These statements of his are going to be poison.

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Java != Davlik

Quite clearly Elison is an idiot if he doesn't understand this.

Using misleading quotes like "Java for Android" doesn't help his case, it makes him seem REALLY desperate.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: democracy?

Methinks Herr Ellison forgets that the US is a Constitutional Republic, and that what is occurring is contrary to that Constitution. Why should we have to change things by voting, when our "gubbmit" is clearly out of control?

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Re: democracy?

Nobody paying attention was very surprised. The difference is that those who weren't paying attention, many of them fairly apolitical and all comfy about the privacy they routinely give away to every website they visit, were shocked into indignation.

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Happy

Is he feigning ignorance and naivete, or is he really that stupid?

Pressed to say where he would draw the line on domestic surveillance, he ventured that it would be wrong if the data were used for political ends – "In other words, if we stopped looking for terrorists and started for looking for people on the other side of the aisle."

That horse already bolted, crossed to Mexico, married there, lived a long and interesting life, died of old age and went to the big prairie in the sky. And that happened forty years ago.

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why ?

Why is el Reg still giving top billing for Larry ??

He's well past his use-by date.

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Pot and kettle on copying - kinda disgusting !

How does Larry's rationalize this comment:

"I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff. It really bothers me," the database mogul continued.

With what he has been doing in Linux for the last 5+ years. He came out and said "Red Hat is not supporting Linux properly, so we need to have an Oracle version, but it will be 100% compatible with Red Hat". This sure sounds like copying someone else's software to me.

He needs to give up whining about the position that Sun was in when Google started using Java, Where Sun begged them to please support Java, for free.

Larry, larry, larry, you are riding a slow moving boat, with many boat anchors on board (SPARC, Solaris, Oracle Apps, Fusion Middleware). Good thing you have your database. But wait, that one is taking on water also with Hadoop and NoSQL models taking shape.

Ride that baby down hard, and keep getting plastic surgery, but remember your ship is taking on water my friend.

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So google shouldnt be able to use the java api which is not protected, but its ok for oracle to take redhat linux under its open source licenses, then f**k it up craptasticly and collect support $ while giving nothing back to red hat?

At least redhat fund a lot open source development and give back heaps to the community.

True oracle do invest in some linux development (btrfs comes to mind) but I dont think they can talk, here.

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Anonymous Coward

His comments on privacy and spy data misuse are a sick joke.

He should visit Solari.com, read the article on federal budget reform and the references, then STFU!

This information has been misused for years, by multiple actors, including the intelligence organisations, foreign Drug Lords, the military industrial complex, politicians, other contractors etc., to blackmail or harass less privileged entities which get in the way of these more privileged entities.

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Anonymous Coward

'Ellison has nothing but praise for the USNSA programs'

Probably because they're his bitch! I wonder if it was his company that benefited from NSA spying here :-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/503224.stm

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Clerk

Larry and Steve:

psychopaths of a feather

flock together

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Anonymous Coward

What brought on this tantrum?

Has Page got a bigger yacht than Ellison, maybe a bigger island?

Alternatively:

Google Does No Evil.

Oracle Does Know Evil.

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'''If some people don't like what NSA is doing, Ellison argued, the trick is to vote the spying programs away. "The great thing is that we live in a democracy. If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government," he said.'''

He is.. insane

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You didn't even make Java Larry, you picked it off the bones of Sun

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Who's stuff?

*Android launched in 2007

*Oracle bought Java from Sun in 2009-2010

When Larry is talking about "our stuff", who is he referring to? Google's negotiations were with Sun.....

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I wonder how much "kit" he sells to the US Government on an annual basis?

And if those "Contracts" really are as essential to "aid in our protection", or just "essential" to him in knowing where his next meal came from?

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amazing

To agree with Ellison, twice in one day! Google IS evil, and NSA are the good guys.

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Re: amazing

NSA are antiheros. They have absolutely no regard for the law or for collateral damage so long as they catch the bad guys. It's a trait that makes for great fictional characters, but it makes for terrible real life agencies that are supposed to be protecting people.

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"If some people don't like what NSA is doing, Ellison argued, the trick is to vote the spying programs away. "The great thing is that we live in a democracy. If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government," he said."

Hang on..that doesn't work: Didn't Bush tell us that PRISM was brought in under him?

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Stop

Slow News Day

Douchebag likes the NSA.

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Can Oracle just die already?

I wish that damn company would up and die already.

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Google ripped off Java but who gives a damn? Java uses concepts from programming created before it was a sparkle in Sun's eye. Give it up already Larry Ellison.

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They didn't take your stuff, Larry.

They copied Sun's API, which Sun didn't seem to have a problem with.

Then you bought Sun and started pretending in some drunk delirium that you invented Java and that EVERYONE OWES YOU ROYALTIES, ESPECIALLY GOOGLE RAARGH.

Fuck off you troll.

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Uncritical thinking

An uncritical thinking Obama water boy...We are dealing with secret domestic spy program, THAT ARE NO LONGER A SECRET. All are current and potential enemies know about the wireless bugs. If your enemies know about your spy program, how can it remain effective? Realistically, the only remaining effective target is the AMERICAN PEOPLE..Mr. Ellison may be a computer billionaire but he is also a specious thinker with nothing to the domestic spying debate.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the license on Java pretty much boil down to 'use as you will'? I could be mistaken. It was still a Sun product last time I read the license.

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