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Thursday, May 30, 2002


Jeffrey Rosen's April 14 New York Times Magazine article (registration required), Silicon Valley's Spy Game:
'''Today, every federal intelligence and law-enforcement agency and all manner of state and local bodies maintain their own separate databases on suspected criminals,' Larry Ellison, the founder and C.E.O. of Oracle Corporation, wrote in The Wall Street Journal last October. 'Do we need more databases? No, just the opposite. The biggest problem today is that we have too many. The single thing we could do to make life tougher for terrorists would be to ensure that all the information in myriad government databases was integrated into a single national file.' Oracle, in fact, is the world's largest database manufacturer, and Ellison offered to donate the software for a single national database free of charge to the United States government. (The company, Ellison added, would charge for upgrades and maintenance.) ... It's not surprising, of course, that Larry Ellison sincerely believes that what's good for Oracle is good for America. But there are, in fact, differences between an e-business and the American government, differences that perhaps should make us hesitate before reconstructing America along the business model of the Oracle Corporation."

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