Oracle boss's Brexit Britain trip shutdown due to US government shutdown

Mark Hurd confesses: I didn't take my passport – but usually that's not an issue

Mark Hurd

Forget cyber security or emergency hamburgers – the real impact of the US government shutdown is only just beginning.

Today, the effect of Uncle Sam's federal bodies grinding to a halt was revealed to a room full of tech execs, industry thinkers and developers alike.

Oracle's co-CEO Mark Hurd was unable to visit Brexit Britain to share his presence with Big Red's disciples at the London OpenWorld shindig.

"You may have a question," said Hurd as he popped up on the big screens of the main conference hall at the Excel in the capital this morning.

Indeed, attendees around your Vulture were murmuring. Why was he being livestreamed from Redwood Shores at 3am Pacific time when he should have been imparting his usual wisdom in person?

"I was travelling on my way to London, and I actually didn't have my passport," Hurd confessed.

Apparently that isn't normally a problem in the US (or at least not if you're an American company exec).

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"Usually it is not a problem because anywhere in the United States, you can typically go to one of many locations and get a passport so you can travel," he said. "But we have this thing here called a government shutdown – and it turns out that process is shut down – so I couldn't get through."

So far, the effects of President Trump's federal shutdown have caused TLS certificates to expire, raised questions over how to ensure protections against taxpayer identify theft, how to mitigate the loss of kitchen staff at the White House to feed a college football team, and so on.

Of course, it seems as though Hurd's problem could have been avoided – but at the very least, it's a lesson to us all: when attempting international travel, you should always take your passport.

Hurd offered his apologies on behalf of the shutdown, while noting that he realised "we all have our various problems" in different countries.

Indeed, the atmosphere in the UK isn't exactly one of mirth and merriment – and the UK Oracle conference itself hasn't escaped that.

Last night's speaker, a former UN diplomat, took the group on a bleak walkthrough of the state of global politics.

So it's possible Hurd wasn't too upset to be missing out on a few days in a giant conference centre in East London. ®

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