Tech Billionaire Larry Ellison Says NSA Surveillance Is ‘Absolutely Essential’

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison recently opened up to CBS News’ Charlie Rose on the topic of government surveillance, arguing that the issue of privacy raised by data collection shouldn’t be new to anyone with a credit card and that National Security Agency surveillance is “absolutely essential.”

“It’s great. It’s essential,” Ellison told Rose in the interview that aired Tuesday. “By the way, 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.”

When Rose asked Ellison where his “red line” on government surveillance would be, Ellison said he’d draw the line at political targeting.

“If the Democrats used it to go after Republicans. If the Republicans used it to go after Democrats,” Ellison said. “In other words, if we stop looking for terrorists and we started looking for people on the other side of the aisle.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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