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Oracle's Ellison eases concerns about possible NSA access on firm's cloud computing clients

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January 30
10:20 AM 2014

Larry Ellison, the Chief Executive Officer of Oracle Corp, downplayed worries that government could access the private data of Oracle's clients, Reuters reported.

The concern was addressed by the Oracle co-founder at an industry conference held in San Francisco when someone in the audience asked him what he would say to possible cloud computing clients of Oracle who might be anxious about the National Security Agency being able to obtain their personal information, the report said.

Ellison said in reply to the question, "To the best of our knowledge, an Oracle database hasn't been broken into for a couple of decades by anybody. It's so secure, there are people that complain."

Major companies in Silicon Valley, like Oracle, Salesforce.com and others, are offering cloud computing or services based on the Internet in areas like human resources, accounting and sales management. By letting cloud servicing companies take care of software and data management, the firms don't need to maintain their own servers and IT infrastructure and are thus able to save on these costs, the report said.

Analysts have said that the revelations of Edward Snowden, the former contractor of the NSA, concerning the surveillance conducted by the US government have heightened the concerns of companies regarding privacy and could even cost technology vendors in the US lost sales amounting to billions of dollars, the report said.

Security expert David Litchfield who also frequently speaks at hacking conferences did not agree with the statement of Ellison, saying that he has witnessed Oracle systems put at risk regularly, the report said. He told Reuters through email, "Of all of the commercial databases, Oracle is the least secure." 

Ellison's software firm traces its roots to 1977 when he and two other colleagues were contracted by the Central Intelligence Agency to come up with a database which had the codename Oracle. They formed the database firm in that same year which was renamed Oracle later on, the report said.

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