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Oracle chief Larry Ellison defends PRISM as 'essential' but calls Google 'evil'

14 Aug 2013
Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has lashed out at Google, branding their actions concerning his firm's Java tools as "evil" in a TV interview. He also defended the NSA's tactics regarding PRISM, calling them "essential".

In an interview broadcast on the US show CBS This Morning, Ellison still appeared to be reeling from the failed lawsuit his company filed against Google in 2012, in which Oracle claimed that Google had infringed patents with its use of Java components in its Android operating system.

"The only guys I have trouble with are the Google guys. Larry [Page, Google CEO] specifically," he said. "We don't compete with Google, we just think Google took our stuff, and that was wrong. I think what they did was absolutely evil. I know his [Page] slogan is don't be evil, but I think he slipped up this time."

In a wide-ranging interview – which also touched on Ellison's friend and Apple founder Steve Jobs, who he described as "irreplaceable" – the Oracle CEO also sought to defend the NSA's practices with its internet-surveillance practices.

"Who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government? It's great," he said, adding: "President Obama thinks it's essential. It's essential if we want to minimise the kind of strikes we just had in Boston."

He made clear that the tactics were only justifiable when hunting terrorists, saying it would only be an issue "if the government used it to do political targeting. If we stopped looking for terrorists and we started looking for people on the other side of the aisle."

Ellison is well known for dividing opinions when speaking in public, having previously savaged HP over its 2010 CEO appointment of Léo Apotheker and ridiculing software firm SAP in his first and only Tweet.

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Michael Passingham

Michael Passingham joined V3 as a reporter in June 2013. Prior to working at V3, Michael spent time at computing magazine PC Pro. Michael covers IT skills, social media, tech startups and also produces V3's video content.

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