Larry Ellison: The NSA’s Snooping Is ‘Essential’ For U.S. Security

Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison CBS This Morning

Larry Ellison is comfortable with the NSA collecting data on us all. He even called the NSA program “essential.”

Ellison is one of the world’s richest men who got that way by founding and running Oracle, a company that makes a database that stores massive amount of information. Oracle’s database is used by nearly every large company on the planet from credit card companies to the government.

Ellison thinks that having the government collect information on citizens is a fair trade off to keeping us more secure, he told Charlie Rose in an interview with CBS This Morning.

He says people should be far more concerned about the data your credit card companies collect on you.

Here’s the transcript:

CHARLIE ROSE: Where do you come down on what NSA is doing?

LARRY ELLISON: Well– great things is we live in a democracy. If we don’t like what NSA is doing, we always– we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government. I think– (SIGH) actually, we’ve been collecting this information for so long– long before NSA was– collecting it. Let me tell you who was collecting it: American Express, Visa, all of your– all of your credit card data, all of your financial records. This whole issue of privacy is utterly fascinating to me. Who’s ever heard of this information being misused but the government. In what way?

CHARLIE ROSE: Let me just hear you clearly. You were saying whatever the NSA’s doin’ is ok with me?

LARRY ELLISON: It’s great. I wish– you know, it’s great. It’s essential. By the way, President Obama thinks it’s essential. It’s essential if want to minimize the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston. It’s absolutely essential.

CHARLIE ROSE: But what point would it be alarming for you, in terms of government surveillance? At what point would your red line be crossed?

LARRY ELLISON: If the government used it to do political targeting. If the Democrats used it to go after Republicans. If the Republicans used it to go after Democrats. In other words, if it became– if we stop looking for terrorists and we started looking for people with– on the other side of the aisle.