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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  1. Katie Saucey
    Meh

    Meh,

    I thought Larry (evil_1) might actually have some different gripe with Larry (evil_2), but he's still just beating the dead Java issue. Nothing new here.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Meh,

      Now if Larry (evil_1) would get his own Java sandbox in order so it wasn't quite the colander of security that it is, I might actually listen to the guy.

      On a side note, is there some magical marketing Kook-aid these folks drink that puts them so far out of touch with reality and is it expensive or does it make you rich? It always seems like some chicken-egg thing to me.

    2. LarsG

      Re: Meh,

      This guy always has a lot to say....

      Most of it crap.

      1. wowfood

        Re: Meh,

        What I don't get is why Larry(evil_1) is still beaing the dead horse over the java issue. It's as good as over, the courts have sided with Larry(evil_2) repeatedly. Moreover Larry(evil_2) had the java clone made when Sun owned it, and Sun have testified in googles favour!

        That and comparing not the competing company, but the individual Larry(evil_2) to criminals, accusing him of theft, accusing him of being 'Absolutely Evil' etc. Isn't he opening himself up to some kind of libel case?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Meh,

          Just because it was hard to prove Google copied Java (and technical cases are hard for a jury to understand), doesn't mean they didn't.

          There are plenty of people convicted of murder then overturned on appeal. Courts don't always get things right.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Meh,

            Didn't Oracle 'copy' some small-time company once...

            Oh yeah SQL from IBM - yes Oracle should offer to return all SQL profits and admit they never should have created the equivalent API and then they can stand on the moral high ground and make some faux case against others.

          2. lost

            Re: Meh,

            Google used the java API's that is not copying java and only subset of those. If Oracle had won the case against Google everyone would be SOL, to do anything with computer require the use of others API's .

    3. Tomato42 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Meh,

      I just wonder what Larry thinks about this whole Oracle Enterprise Linux.

      I don't think that's double standards... we have to go further... we have to go triple.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. K Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Of course, the NSA provides a vital and nationally critical service...

    In lining Larry's pockets!

    And Kudos to Larry, now that's what I call good customer service!

    1. Amorous Cowherder

      Exactly, Google have their own custom big data thingy, they don't want any Oracle guff messing up their operation. The NSA on the other hand, being a gov dept and having to buy a American by mandate, they will be paying for Larry's big toys for many years to come!

    2. FuzzyTheBear
      Pint

      And PR

      Will look good next time the NSA looks for a supplier on a contract .. " ooo this Ellison guy is publically standing for us and approving us .. let's call him see what he can do on this .. " You know a bit of PR with your clients never hurts the bottom line :)

    3. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Today's dilbert seems to fit LarryE quite well.

      http://www.dilbert.com/fast/2013-08-14/

  4. Anomalous Cowshed

    Government is not a group of people who are called "secretary of state for this or of that" and that is headed by the President. Government is the sum of all powers and influences in the country. Mr. Ellison is a very powerful and influential person. He is therefore as much part of the US government as Mr. Obama, Mr. Gates and millions of other influential people, corporations and organisations in the US, even though he may not wear a badge that says so. With all that this implies about what value should be attached to what he says or doesn't say.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Soz but you're wrong. By your logic the gorervment is everybody since we are all able to exert influence to some extent.

      The traditional way of lumping the govt. with the rich and powerful is to refer to them as 'The Man'

      1. Anomalous Cowshed

        I don't think I'm wrong

        It's the best model I could come up with so far to describe what is "government". According to this model, government does indeed include everybody, but each person's input is weighted to the extent of their relative power and influence. For instance the head of the US Army or President of America has more influence than the person who does the gardening for Mr. Joe Bloggs. But the gardener might be part of a pressure group which he is able to leverage in order to exert some influence on the way things are done locally in his town. Or he might be secretly shagging the President's wife, and therefore has more influence than you'd expect. In that way he might influence the government of the country in a small way. There is thus no such thing as "The Man". There are only interests and influences that are more powerful than your own and appear suspect as a result. With this model, there is no need to engage in endless conspiracy theories to explain what's going on. There are powerful people, there are powerful groups of people called organisations or corporations or government bodies, there are ways in which one can join them, and barriers to joining them, and they will squash you without a second thought if they can and it is in their interest, just as you would squash them if you were in their shoes. There are alliances and associations between powerful people and organisations. And there are rivalries, threats and competition.

        All this may of course be wrong, but just as with science, you have to build sociological models to explain that which you cannot see.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't think I'm wrong

          @anon cowherd

          "All this may of course be wrong, but just as with science, you have to build sociological models to explain that which you cannot see."

          Alternativey you could take a civics class and use the word 'government' in the way the framers of the constitution intended (yymv if you're not talking about the US)

          1. Anomalous Cowshed

            Re: I don't think I'm wrong

            [The following is intended to be highly controversial, please forgive me for offending any sensibilities]

            To the untrained, non-US educated observer, the framers of the US Constitution mostly intended to rid themselves of the colonial tax collector and rule their own, profitable affairs. What else would a group of well-connected, upper-middle-class white, male, Protestant, wealthy plantation owners want? They could not possibly have intended that they should share power with their slaves, or with the American Indians whom they were trying to con into selling them land, or with their wives who were in charge of cooking, cleaning and taking care of their children, or with the scummy hordes of cheap labourers who were the foundation of their fortunes and of their high standard of living (including those transported by the old colonial power). And they did very well for themselves as a result.

            1. tom dial Silver badge

              Re: I don't think I'm wrong

              Of course they also were Catholic (Maryland) and various flavors of Protestant (Rhode Island, Massachusetts), merchants, artisans, and tradesmen as well as plantation owners. Some were quite opposed to chattel slavery (leading to several anomalous provisions). Who could vote was left to the states, and at the time I think the pressure to extend voting to women was quite limited. And while the upper middle class white males and their issue did fairly well going forward, they had placed no legal restrictions on others and not a few of the well-off in later decades and centuries had humble origins, and not a few of those who immigrated without much in the way of resources have done well also.

              The framers (and many others) fought a war between 1776 and 1783 to rid themselves of the colonial tax collectors and oversight, and established the U. S. Constitution as a second attempt at setting up a flexible and extensible framework for governing a large and varied nation. Imperfect, as all things are, it has served most of us well for more than two centuries and I expect it will continue to do so for some time ahead. We'll get by the present problem with government intrusiveness, and probably Larry Ellison too.

            2. ecofeco Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: I don't think I'm wrong

              >And they did very well for themselves as a result.

              Actually, most of them didn't. While they got their own country, most of them went broke as a result.

              Just 56 years after the AmRev, Great Britain came very close to getting the colonies back.

              1. Hollerith 1

                Re: I don't think I'm wrong

                And after the War of 1812, the Brits realised they didn't need to own the American colonies to profit from them -- in fact, it was cheaper not to pay to defend them and to pay for an administration system for them just to get them as a more-or-less captive trading partner. And, compared to India, the American colonies were small economic beer.

            3. Tom 13
              Flame

              Re:To the untrained, non-US educated observer

              You are not forgiven because contrary to your pre-apology it was intended to give offense.

              In point of fact, Jefferson did draft the Declaration of Independence with phrases that would imply chattel slavery should be done away with if the government followed the proclamation. It was only because the group had previously decided unanimous consent to the declaration would be required that the leaders of South Carolina were able to leverage their strong objection to the inclusion of the phrase. Jefferson only reluctantly agreed to it, and it has generally been properly referred to as the Devil's Compromise ever since. Your characterization is one of purely socialist/marxist propaganda. Propaganda whose sole purpose is to undermine the legitimate will of the people to oppose the Statist agenda. An agenda that has always, everywhere it has been tried, resulted in the death of tens of thousands or millions of people once its objectives have been achieved.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Re:To the untrained, non-US educated observer

                "Jefferson only reluctantly agreed to it"

                Yeah, right. I guess he reluctantly kept all his slaves too. Man, old TJ must have been miserable with all these people forcing him to do things that were so immoral. And profitable, of course.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: Alternativey you could take a civics class

            I wouldn't restrict it to just the US government. The civics class definition works pretty well for all forms of government so long as you stick to it. Where it starts getting fuzzy is with Marx because he never accepted the civics definition and explicitly defined everything as government.

        2. Tom 13

          Re: I don't think I'm wrong

          Please just go join Ted in the mountain hideaway. Your screed makes as much sense as any of his did.

          Granted if used as Exhibit A for the prosecution, it goes a long way to explaining why so much is so frelled on both sides of the pond. But that really is all the more reason for you to go join Ted.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The traditional way of lumping the govt. with the rich and powerful is to refer to them as 'The Man'

        I thought they were "Them"... if they're "The Man" and not "Them", then who is "Them"? Are they a subset of "The Man" or an entirely different 'they'? Or is it the other way around, is "The Man" one of "Them"? Are "Them" 'international' whilst "The Man" is 'domestic'?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @obnoxiousgit - Them are Those that The Man purtects us from ..

    2. NumptyScrub

      To rephrase an earlier post:

      "Government is not a group of people who are called "secretary of state for this or of that" and that is headed by the President. Government is the sum of all powers and influences held by both the elected and unelected officials who work in the name of that government."

      Can't remember the last time I voted for a General, or for the people who run the secret services. In fact, if I recall correctly, they are the same people no matter which party gets elected! How would one go about getting them replaced, in a democracy where the "voice of the people" is a respected and potent tool?

      1. Fink-Nottle

        > Can't remember the last time I voted for a General

        Last time there was a General in the White House, he issued a stern warning that is as relevant now as it was in 1961 ...

        This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

        1. croc

          Hindsight is, indeed, 20/20, eh. Upon finally leaving the US Presidency, poor Ike must have felt the right fool for giving in to his corporate masters on the overthrow of the elected democracy of Iran. But he did get to put the verbal boot in, for all the good that would prove to be. Just goes to show that a brilliant General may not make an equally brilliant President. Don't get me wrong, he certainly did lead the US well in most respects, but I would bet that he died wishing that he had listened to his predecessor on that one wee thing...

      2. Tom 13

        Re: To rephrase an earlier post:

        No, he explicitly included a gardener in the screed. He didn't stop at a level commensurate with your definition. Your definition is a good approximation of a technical civics class definition.

  5. Ross K Silver badge
    Devil

    WTF Is Ellison Smoking?

    "It's great," Ellison said of the domestic spying. "It's great, it's essential. President Obama thinks it's essential. It's essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston. It's absolutely essential."

    For all their combined spying powers the NSA, the CIA and the FBI didn't have a clue that the Boston bombing was going to happen. Shit, the FBI had to plead for the public's help to identify the bombers from the grainy CCTV footage.

    If you've got nothing to hide, you don't need to worry about government surveillance eh?

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: WTF Is Ellison Smoking?

      Don't forget that FBI had "interviewed" one of the bombers not so long ago and their Russian counterparts had given the FBI a heads up. One might think if you were told to watch out for some guy and had personally spoken to him that you might at least identify him from the pictures.

    2. streaky Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: WTF Is Ellison Smoking?

      Yeah the Boston Bombing is proof that it's a massive waste of time/money - lets hold the privacy bus a minute - they prove beyond all reasonable doubt the money/time thing.

      If you've got something to hide you have no reason to fear surveillance. If you have nothing to hide, you have reason to fear them stealing business secrets and generally invading your life.

    3. Infernoz Bronze badge
      Devil

      Re: WTF Is Ellison Smoking?

      Ellison is a power crazed, corporatist shrill, A-hole. His comments about Apple and Jobs ironically show just how stupidly fragile the prevalent top-heavy, corporate, limited liability, management pattern is; Oracle included!

      Nicholas Taleb explained why it is such a futile waste of time to attempt to predict events in stupidly fragile, thus Black Swan prevalent, areas in his book Anti-fragile; this does rather suggest that these huge centralised government bodies are a colossal waste of time and money, because any crippling threat is likely hit before they even have a clue. What should be happening is that all these fragile big structures are broken up and decentralised, which parasitic control freaks, like this douche bag, won't like!

      I have more respect for Google staff than Oracle staff, despite its intrusiveness (and suggested CIA associations), because its software is far easier to us than the deliberately, or lazily, obfuscated Oracle Database product line, which makes me loath o attempt to work with these products, unless I absolutely have to for work (I am). I _really_ hate any product which requires use of a mess of *nix style command line tools, for stuff much better done by GUIs, and worse based on bizarrely custom DB concepts, just so that they can charge a fortune to train a DBA 'priesthood', and their demos are a shamefully poorly documented (amateurish); my pet hate, Microsoft, do much better, as do many OSS projects like PostgreSQL! Even the GUIs and web interfaces for Oracle DB leave a lot to be desired for usability!

      I hope PostgreSQL and NoSQL databases eat Oracle alive, and the MySQL branches make MySQL irrelevant, just like the LibreOffice branch has effectively made the failed OpenOffice annexation and retirement to Apache irrelevant.

    4. Tom 13

      Re: For all their combined spying powers

      There is a huge mistake in that statement. It is a mistake our enemies exploit and one that the powers that be paper over because it tends to make us more complacent. For all the data they collect, for all the intrusiveness they exude, for all the rights they violate in collecting all that data, they are not combined. Each still sits in its silo, not talking to the other so the dots can be connected. Not focusing on the enemy, but focused on maintaining its own power base, and only focused on stopping the enemy to such extent as is necessary to maintain its own power base. If they were combined for the good of the people it could be a good thing. The risk we conservatives join our libertarian brothers in raising is that we cannot guarantee it will only be used for good. And there is not merely a measurable but a large chance the statists will seize it for their own uses. When combined with the blinders of a PC outlook, it is always a recipe for disaster.

      1. Ross K Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: For all their combined spying powers

        Yeah, yeah. Gotta keep the proles living in fear of imminent attack so the money keeps flowing to Oracle, SAIC, Lockheed, Boeing and every other pig with a snout in the trough...

        I haven't read so much bullshit since I read Larry Ellison's comments in the main article.

    5. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: WTF Is Ellison Smoking?

      Of course that tends to support the claim that NSA data collection and processing does NOT target U. S. residents.

  6. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Now we know what software NSA is using.

    "Larry Ellison has nothing but praise for the US National Security Agency's domestic surveillance programs"

    Must be a big fat contract to store all that stuff.

    Ellison is not one to judge.

  7. Paul Shirley

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

    It's pretty simple Larry E:

    1: hire lawyers to check the licences

    2: follow their advice scrupulously about what is allowed under those licences

    Ellisons problem is Google understands Oracles licences better than Oracle does. Not a big surprise someone like Larry E didn't understand the implications of permissive licences, even ones deliberately booby trapped like Java. As it is, having been alerted to just how screwed they are, Oracle are busy trying to find loopholes to make the licence rights less useful. Not working out well for him.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff."

      Hey Larry, IBM called - something about you copying "SQL" from them

    2. Julian Taylor Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff."

      Surely it is more a method of:

      1) Buy the product (Java, MySQL etc)

      2) Change the GPL to something else (Sun Binary Code License etc).

      3) Bitch publicly about the GPL since you can't retroactively apply the new license.

      4) Start throwing your toys out of the pram.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff."

      After that, the interviewer should have asked him to explain the Oracle Red Hat clone.

      anon because at work

  8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    A Tool's Tool Tooling Up

    Yes Larry, you next Govnm't Contract WILL be extended.

    Stop fellating us so much.

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Pop quiz: What did Obama promise before the election and what did he do after he was voted in?

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

    Oh, and "Who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government? In what way?" IBM has.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Pop quiz: What did Obama promise before the election and what did he do after he was voted in?

      Hey if you don't like a red-neck Texan republican you could always elect a black Hawaiian democrat.

      Vote for change!

    2. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Pop quiz: What did Obama promise before the election and what did he do after he was voted in?

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

      I'm intrigued by that statement - is he following the fallacy that electing people who have been chosen for not rocking the boat (too much) will actually be able to do anything useful against the entrenched civil servants, or is he advocating something a bit more ... revolutionary?

  10. Marketing Hack Silver badge

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

    Whether your tracking the sexual proclivities of 6 billion people, or just discrediting a peaceful political movement, you need a RDBMS that can scale with your needs! Only Oracle can deliver the feature set required by shadowy, crypto-fascist cabals, and with our global support it's "Today, Cheltenham! Tomorrow--THE WORLD!!!!" Now offering an API to the popular Nab'Em Rendition Dispatching System, increasing the throughput of your kidnap squds by 21% through automatic dispatching based on real-time triggers pulling from your Oracle RDBMS! Track and disappear your opponents without ever having to issue a written order, both increasing productivity and assuring plausible deniability!

    On a more serious note:

    P.S.--Larry, NSA surveillance did jack squat to prevent the Boston bombings, despite the elder Tsarnaev brother being ID'd by the Russiand and interviewed by the FBI

    P.P.S--When did these activities ever hurt anyone? Nixon and the Plumbers? McCarthyism? The several hundred thousand people put on the "No fly" list because some terrorist used a name as an alias? I could go on....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      Just as an aside, McCarthy was right that the state department was riddled with russian spies, and in fact the organisation responsible for blacklisting wasn't Senator McCarthy's investigation, but the House Committee for Un-American Activities - in other words it was members of the democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

      Calling it McCarthyism isn't really a fair application of credit. It was a superlative example of just how effective bipartisanship can be.

      Something to remember next time an American politician says he wants to "reach across the aisle" or promote "bipartisan engagement". They're codewords for "we want to find the best way to fuck you over."

      1. Anonymous Dutch Coward
        Mushroom

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

        Ehm yes, but I think you'd better replace:

        <<next time an American politician says he wants to "reach across the aisle" or promote "bipartisan engagement" [....] to fuck you over>>

        with

        <<next time any politician says anything [....] to fuck you over>>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    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 ?

    1. R Callan
      Flame

      Re: He actually said that ?

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

    2. streaky Silver badge
      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.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      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.

    4. tom dial Silver badge

      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.

      1. Pseu Donyme

        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 )

      2. Don Dumb
        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

        1. Tikimon Silver badge
          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.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        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'

      5. sisk Silver badge

        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').

  12. Rob Crawford

    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.

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    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.

  14. Sebastian A
    Thumb Down

    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...

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Exactly

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

  15. 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).

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      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.

    2. streaky Silver badge
      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.

  16. Someone Else Silver badge
    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.

  17. Diogenes

    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. "

  18. Anonymous Coward
    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"

  19. David 164 Bronze badge

    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.

  20. Mr. Peterson

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

  21. doggod42

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

  22. Philomena Cunk

    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.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. RedneckMother

      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?

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      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.

  24. Mephistro Silver badge
    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.

  25. Peter 39

    why ?

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

    He's well past his use-by date.

  26. Bill Bickle

    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.

  27. andro

    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.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    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

  30. PAT MCCLUNG

    Clerk

    Larry and Steve:

    psychopaths of a feather

    flock together

  31. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  32. Wil Palen

    '''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

  33. PassiveSmoking
    Thumb Down

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

  34. eben80

    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.....

  35. Michael Habel Silver badge

    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?

  36. johnwerneken

    amazing

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

    1. sisk Silver badge

      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.

  37. Psyx

    "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?

  38. Euripides Pants Silver badge
    Stop

    Slow News Day

    Douchebag likes the NSA.

  39. Kellic

    Can Oracle just die already?

    I wish that damn company would up and die already.

  40. rcorrect
    Thumb Down

    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.

  41. M Gale

    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.

  42. richard bittner

    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.

  43. sisk Silver badge

    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.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's just a mating call

    This is just Ellison courting the NSA, to get more business. Nothing else.

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