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Larry Ellison’s Golden Age

Profiteers of the Warfare State

Larry Ellison has an idea.  The relentlessly self-promoting CEO of Oracle Corp., a Silicon Valley software company famous for its ability to grab government contracts, envisions post-September 11 America as a country where everyone walks around with a “smart card.”  Days after the terrorist attacks, the opportunistic Ellison was all over the media claiming that “We need a national ID card with our photograph and thumbprint digitized and embedded in the ID card.”

Naturally, it would all be backed up by an Oracle database.  And, of course, he will do it for free—at least until the first inevitable “upgrade.”

The only way to protect ourselves from terrorists is to “ensure that all the information in myriad government databases was integrated into a single national file,” says Ellison.  Oh, and we should not worry about the government intruding where it is not supposed to, because privacy is so pre-September 11: “Well, this privacy you’re concerned about is largely an illusion,” Ellison told news anchor Hank Plante of San Francisco’s KPIX-TV shortly after September 11.  “All you have to give up is your illusions, not any of your privacy.  Right now, you can go onto the Internet and get a credit report about your neighbor and find out where your neighbor works, how much they [sic] earn and if they...

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