Oracle CEO Larry Ellison dismisses customers’ NSA snooping concerns

By Sooraj Shah
30 Jan 2014 View Comments
Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has dismissed any concerns of his customers about the government snooping on their private data.

When asked at an Oracle event in San Francisco what to tell potential clients who worry that the National Security Agency (NSA) could access their information, Ellison suggested that it was an improbable task.

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"To the best of our knowledge, an Oracle database hasn't been broken into for a couple of decades by anybody," Reuters reported him saying.

"It's so secure, there are people that complain."

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's revelations about the US government's mass surveillance operation have turned the spotlight on internet and technology firms - particularly those whose servers are only based in the US.

With many companies, including Oracle, storing customers' data in the cloud, clients may fear that their data is readily available to US intelligence agencies to snoop on.

This has also meant technology firms that have been linked to the NSA's Prism programme, including Apple, Microsoft and Google, have resorted to battling with the US government to release more data about the number of user requests it gets from the NSA. They claimed that their reputations were at risk, and profits - particularly from international business - could suffer as a result.

The US government finally caved in to the pressure from the technology giants this week, but this month storage firm Peer 1 Hosting and internet hosting company UKFast have claimed that British firms want to store data in Britain in order to prevent the US government from snooping on customer information.

One way vendors are trying to thwart government snooping is to build data centres in countries that have pledged not to cooperate with non-domestic security services. For example, SAP said it would protect data belonging to its Brazilian clients by building data centres in the South American country.

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