"Who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government? In what way?" Ellison asked.
"Let me just hear you clearly," Rose said. "You were saying whatever the NSA's doing is okay with me?"
"It's great," Ellison responded. "It's essential. By the way, President Obama thinks it's essential. It's essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes we just had in Boston. It's absolutely essential."
Ellison added that if government surveillance were used for "political targeting," rather than to investigate possible terror threats, that would be crossing the line.
Several major tech companies have distanced themselves from the NSA in the wake of reports that the agency has been allowed to access their users' data. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Larry Page both denied the allegations. Oracle was not among the companies linked to NSA surveillance programs, though the company, which specializes in database management systems, does a significant amount of business with the U.S. government.