Larry Ellison has offered help in the creation of a National ID card for the United States by donating Oracle software.
Ellison told San Francisco TV channel KPIX that the US needed a national database containing biometric information on its citizens to prevent terrorism:-
"We need a national ID card with our photograph and thumbprint digitized and embedded in the ID card,'' he said, the San Jose Mercury reports.
That a Silicon Valley CEO should call for an extension of Federal powers would normally be considered remarkable: the tech elite here are typically unanimous in calling for less government intervention. But Ellison is simply looking after the interest of his shareholders: when existing markets are soft, the onus is to create new demand and new markets for his wares. And there would be downstream benefits for Oracle of course, in the form of consulting and future applications.
Ellison's comments are the most visible push for a Stateside National ID card we've heard: the idea has received next to no press here in the past fortnight, but rather more in the United Kingdom, where the issue was pre-emptively raised by Home Secretary David Blunkett.
(For our American readers, Blunkett took the job in June promising to make his predecessor, who introduced the RIP Act which reverses the burden of proof on cryptographic key holders, "look like a liberal").
After a fortnight of hearing how the West is now at war, it's a sign of how much more difficult defenders of civil liberties will find it to fight infringements only considered acceptable during wartime. ®