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Oracle is doing what it can to make the world a safer, nicer place to live, by making sure that dastardly terrorists can't use its software.

To get hold of one of Oracle's Technology Network Developer Licenses, wannabe purchasers must tick a series of boxes, proving themselves fit to buy. First you have to promise you aren't from Cuba (member of the World Trade Organisation since 1995). Customers from Iran, Sudan, Libya, North Korea and Syria will also be disappointed to learn that their custom is not wanted.

Once you have made it clear that you are from a friendly country (like, say, Saudi Arabia), you have to tick a box confirming that you are not a terrorist, or a drug smuggler. Pity the poor cocaine barons. How on Earth are they going to keep on top of their stock levels and days outstanding now?

Next you have to promise you won't use the software for naughty purposes.

Like what, you ask? Well, like "the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction".

As you can imagine, we all breathed a sign of relief when we heard this. After all, bin Laden and chums are known to be sticklers for good database management, and it is highly unlikely that the well-respected Al Qaeda IT department would approve any software purchase without first agreeing to the terms of the end user license agreement.

Our thanks to vulture-eyed reader Duncan Martelock for bringing this to our attention. Duncan writes:

I think all governments should adopt this policy, stick it on birth certificates/passports and save billions on security, although the full wording does allow for undesignated terrorists and the building of nuclear weapons which don't cause mass destruction. (Are nuclear grenades weapons of mass destruction?)

Absolutely right, Duncan. We need clearer definitions of these woolly terms. But in the meantime, thank goodness Oracle is fighting the bad guys on this front. Terrorist organisations around the world will sink in disarray as they are no longer able to maintain decent membership lists, or track, manage and understand their next plot to take over the world.

To prove that we are not making this up, see the full details of the agreement here. ®

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