Larry Ellison, NSA Database Supplier, Approves of NSA Surveillance

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Eric Risberg/AP File Photo

Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle, appeared on an interview with CBS.

Larry Ellison is exceedingly rich and powerful. He is the third-most-wealthy person in the United States and runs Oracle, the database giant. And yet somehow, as he revealed during an interview on CBS Tuesday morning, he is hopelessly uninformed on the ramifications of NSA surveillance. Or, perhaps willfully uninformed. After all, the NSA is an Oracle client, which CBS didn't mention.

The first four things Ellison says about the NSA are misleading or incorrect. Host Charlie Rose asked Ellison how he "came down" on NSA surveillance.

"Well, the great thing is, we live in a democracy. If we don't like what the NSA is doing, we can get rid of the government and put in a different government."

Yes, that's true. However, that relies on the public being aware of those programs, something which was all-but-impossible prior to the revelations leaked by Edward Snowden. As we've noted previously, the confluence of secrecy and domestic surveillance by its very nature impedes the informed consent of voters. Americans who are concerned about these issues are forced, like the media, to put together what details they can.