Even before it aired in its entirety earlier today, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's rare interview with Charlie Rose for CBS This Morning already caused quite the stir last night, with early clips revealing Ellison's prediction that Apple would suffer without Steve Jobs in charge. But those were far from the only incendiary comments that Ellison wanted to get off his chest. He also said Google acted "absolutely evil" in terms of its treatment of Oracle's Java programming language, and enthusiastically endorsed the US government's mass surveillance programs recently revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, saying they are "absolutely essential" for preventing attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing.
Oracle sued Google for its use of Java for $6 billion in 2012 and lost, so it sounds like Ellison still has some sour grapes over that outcome. As he said in the interview: "the only guys I have trouble with are the Google guys." Prodded by Rose, Ellison elaborated: "Larry [Page] specifically…Because he makes the decisions over there." He also said: "I think what they did was absolutely evil," in reference to Google's use of Java, and that he blames Page "100 percent."
Turning to the topic of the revelations from leaked documents that the NSA has many programs collecting millions of users' data on the internet and through their wireless carriers, Ellison said he wasn't bothered, asking "who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government?" and adding:
It's great. It's essential. By the way, President Obama thinks its essential. It's essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes we had in Boston. It's absolutely essential.
Ellison said the only way surveillance would go too far is if it was used by one political party to target the other, instead of terror suspects. The Oracle CEO, one of the world's richest people, doesn't give many interviews, but when he does, he always has lots to share. Check out the full interview above via CBS This Morning.