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Ashcroft, Ellison Win Big Brother Awards

April 22, 2002|Reuters

Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft and database billionaire Larry Ellison have been named this year's most notorious American violators of personal privacy by leading advocacy groups.

The annual Big Brother Awards are presented to government, corporations and private individuals who allegedly have done the most to threaten personal privacy.

Privacy International, a London-based coalition of privacy experts and human rights groups, presented the awards at the annual Computers, Freedom & Privacy conference in San Francisco last week.

The Worst Government Official award went to Ashcroft. Privacy International said the top U.S. law enforcement officer is responsible for a massive increase in wiretapping of phones and other electronics and for the imprisonment without charge of thousands of people in the United States in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Worst Corporate Invader honor went to Ellison of Oracle Corp., the world's leading maker of database software, for his advocacy of a centralized, Oracle-run government database that could be used as a national identification system.

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