Ellison donates ID software to U.S. government

Oracle Corp. has followed through on an offer from Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison, made in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S., to supply the government with free software to create a national ID card system, he acknowledged in his Tuesday keynote talk at the OpenWorld conference.

The idea of a national identification card system sparked furious debate and Ellison later seemed to back off supporting it, but he tossed a mention of the ID plan into his speech here.

"We've completed a deal with the (U.S.) government," Ellison said. "We made a promise to offer software for a national database for free. That software has been delivered."

Although Ellison said he wasn't at liberty to say which agency had received the software, or when, he played up the government's acceptance of the complimentary software as an endorsement of the security behind Oracle's software.

"These people are very sensitive about unauthorized access to their data," he said. "You can't imagine how annoyed they get" when that security is breached.

OpenWorld continues through Friday. Oracle is Webcasting parts of the event for those not attending. Information about the show is at http://www.oracle.com/openworld/us/conference/.

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