Is your data really safe online? Whether you like it or not, it is likely that much of it is stored by Oracle, a gigantic, U.S.-based company that has become one of the largest and most influential tech corporations in the world.
Yet the company’s intimate ties to both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Israeli national security state should be cause for enormous concern, our guest today argues. In episode 56 of “The Watchdog” podcast, Lowkey is joined by returning visitor, Alan MacLeod.
Alan MacLeod is senior staff writer and podcast producer for MintPress News. He has worked at the company since 2019. Before joining MintPress, he was an academic and a freelance journalist specializing in Latin America and in analyzing media and propaganda. Together with Lowkey, he published an investigation into Oracle’s connections, titled, “Openly Pro-Israel Tech Group Now Has Control over UK’s Most Sensitive National Security Data.”
Together, the pair lay out Oracle’s extraordinarily close relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA was the company’s first customer in the 1970s. Indeed, the name “Oracle” comes from Project Oracle, a CIA operation that Oracle founder and former CEO Larry Ellison worked on. Since then, the relationship has only flourished, as MacLeod explained:
Ever since its beginning and even before its beginning in the 1970s, as being fundamentally intertwined with the U.S. national security states, Oracle grew from a very small, fledgling company into a multibillion dollar behemoth that it is today, and it has done that through getting fat off of the huge contracts that Washington hands out.”
Former CIA director Leon Panetta is a member of Oracle’s board of directors, and, if media reports are to be believed, Ellison personally asked his close friend Benjamin Netanyahu to take a seat at Oracle’s highest table as well.
The connection to Israel’s prime minister is illustrative of a deep collaboration between Oracle and Israel. Indeed, the company sees aiding the Israeli government as equally important as making money. CEO Safra Catz, laid out Oracle’s purpose, stating:
We are not flexible regarding our mission, and our commitment to Israel is second to none. This is a free world and I love my employees, and if they don’t agree with our mission to support the State of Israel, then maybe we aren’t the right company for them. Larry [Ellison] and I are publicly committed to Israel and devote personal time to the country, and no one should be surprised by that.”
In part two of the interview, Lowkey talks to MacLeod about some more of his more recent journalistic investigations, including chatting about the Georgetown University department training the world’s top spies, and the rise of Iran International, a new media network taking Iran by storm. There is only one problem with Iran International; as MacLeod has detailed, it is very likely funded by the Saudi government.
The MintPress podcast, “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations about which it is in the public interest to know – including intelligence, lobby and special interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. The Watchdog goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media.
Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic and political campaigner. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network and The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album, Soundtrack To The Struggle 2, featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.