Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has high praise for the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, which have stirred so much controversy in Washington.
"It's great. It's essential," the head of the world's largest database software maker told CBS News' Charlie Rose Tuesday
. "By the way, President Obama thinks it's essential. It's essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston."
Ellison added that he does not believe the NSA has been abusive in its surveillance.
"Who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government?" he continued, adding that Americans might be more upset to learn that the private sector has been way ahead of the NSA in amassing data on American citizens and consumers.
"We've been collecting this information for so long, long before the NSA was collecting it," Ellison told Rose. "Let me tell you who's collecting. American Express, Visa — all your credit card data we have and all your financial records."
Asked when the NSA's data collection program might got too far," Ellison said, "If the government used it to do political targeting.
"If the Democrats used it to go after Republicans. If the Republicans used it to go after Democrats," he added. "In other words, if we stop looking for terrorists, and we started looking for people on the other side of the aisle."
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