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Sony, Microsoft and Others Agree to Share Customer Data with US Government

With or without controversial new legislation such as the ​Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act, President Obama is doing his best to make sure companies share the information they know about you with the federal government.

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DarkOcelet1008d ago

I am not an American citizen but to be honest if i was, i would be pissed about this $hit. Hopefully this doesn't happen. They should not have the right to do such BS.

LostDjinn1008d ago

MS have been "sharing" with the US government for years. The fact that others have now followed suit is just a reflection of the pressure the USG is applying to all large data holders.

It's a sad state of affairs. If you don't protect/stand up for your rights it'll get worse from here too.

DarkOcelet1008d ago

Hopefully people say no to this BS. Also that was one of the reason i hated the Xboxone when it was first announced with its Always On Kinect. It would feel like someone is watching or listening to me.

christocolus1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

Why single MS out? Apple, Facebook, Google, Yahoo and many others have been doing the same thing for years too.Being American companies makes it alot harder for them to hold off pressure from the Government.The pressure has always been on them from the beginning. Sony and others basically had no choice,at a certain point they all had to give in. The US government is relentless when it comes to stuff like this.

xer01008d ago

But we have to remember that matters are made much worse by hackers like Lizard Squad; who have cost both companies millions of dollars!

DragonKnight1008d ago

@christocolus And how many of those companies that you just mentioned have gaming consoles? When you can answer that, you'll find out why MS was singled out.

BG115791008d ago

Either way, this sucks... I would like to thanks Lizardsquad and the other real hackers for this. After the terrorists, they are the new excuse.

Funny on how Sony and Microsoft get single it out, but there are no mentions on Nintendo, Steam and others...

strangeaeon1008d ago

Way to make this about MS. if you will remember, MS were forced through the supreme court to share data.

Kribwalker1008d ago

@dragon knight

Google has android based phones and game consoles
Apple uses their IPhone tablets and Apple TV for gaming as well as PCs
Facebook owns oculus rift

So there are 3 of the 4 with relations to gaming

XabiDaChosenOne1008d ago

@christocolus Yea, it was because of the "pressure"
http://redmondmag.com/artic...

MultiConsoleGamer1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

Sony has also been "sharing" their consumer data with the US Government for years. So let's not pretend that this is something new. Let's also not try to imply that Microsoft started this trend.

Last year when all the fanboy idiots were chanting NSA spybox in regards to the Xbox One, little did they know their own favorite company also had made a deal with the same government agency many years prior.

That same company even holds a patent on camera software for their game systems that is capable of reading lips and judging emotions.

That same company also introduced the concept of game systems with cameras. So again, be careful in your glass house fanboys.

moldybread1008d ago

every smartphone out there pretty much has a camera installed that's why i laugh at all those who focused all of their attention on the xbox kinect.

i am torn about the right to privacy. yes we should all have rights to privacy but if something is a criminal act and they can use customer data to find out the criminals then what is the answer?

there has to be a balance put in place to protect people while at the same time not protecting the criminals who use this to their advantage.

tmh35931008d ago

lmao actually microsoft was going to get in trouble because they denied access to peoples emails

theshonen88991008d ago

Just so you guys know, this data is regarding cyber security and it's intended to help the government figure out how to prevent attacks like the recent Sony breach. It's nothing like the NSA surveillance controversy.

Dee_911008d ago

the age we live in folks.
Thats why I keep all my info offline.Yahoo google facebook etc all gathering too much info.You don't need my phone number all you need is the name I give you.
I know a lot of people think so long as you don't do anything wrong you should have nothing to worry about.True, but consider our forefathers died for our rights and right to privacy, your information in the wrong hands could be dangerous, miss information etc. I won't bend over for security, there are countless other ways to protect us instead of keeping an eye on us and predicting our movements.
Reality is its nothing they ( sony google msft etc) can do about it, you just have to stay smart and cautious.

DOMination-1008d ago

As long as you're not doing anything illegal, who cares if the government knows you have a ps4 and played transistor last week?

TrollsBringer1008d ago

Meh, people will easily surrender to this as long as they get their instant gratification.

Omegasyde1007d ago

Dont get mad at the US companies get mad at US government.

Now I have to leave as the NSA is knocking on my door right now....

iiorestesii1007d ago (Edited 1007d ago )

The United Steamroll of America.

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PoSTedUP1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

i am and im kinda pissed. but at the same time: what can they know that they already dont? im not a shy guy, and i do what i want. i play what i wanna play, say what i wanna say, work where i wanna work etc. i dont pay too much mind to the big brother, them and corporations are so corrupt. i do what i can to protect me and my family. i stay away from their shitty food and products that cause cancer and illness. i try my best to not support their corruption, pharmaceutics, chemicals, inhumane business practices, environmental hazards etc. health insurance companies have billions invested in fast food corporations becuse it causes cancer and disease, its not just "bad for you". huge tobacco companies now own most food products like philip morris etc. a lot of ingredient that were bad for you are being replaced by s*** that is Horrible for you, just to maximize profits... were being poisoned for profit and not treated as people anymore. the list goes on, sorry for my rant ill stop here. just wanna make people aware, that will make other ppl aware, while i still have that freedom.

DragonKnight1008d ago

The "I have nothing to hide" opinion is a dangerous one that will be used to take away other rights from you in the future. You may not have something to hide now, but you may in the future, you never know. And even if you don't, the US Government could easily try to pass some kind of law that you are adamantly against and when you stand up to it they'll say to you "what have you got to hide, you were so co-operative with us when we spied on you, why aren't you co-operating with us trying to chip you?" or something like that.

PoSTedUP1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

yeah dude i agree, and im totally against this. but personally im pretty honest and open. and truthfully who ever has money can find out what ever they want about you, and not only do they pass laws overnight that take our rights away little by little, most of us agreed to give our personal info away in all of theTerms and Conditions. read em, its right there in the print. you, me, us, weve all agreed to let these corporations share our info with third parties. im just not paraoid. but everyones privacy should be respected. i dont mind my internet being monitored (although i think it would be completely wrong to do so and would fight it for thesake of others) but i do care about anyone knowing where i go and who i associate with etc. and thats why i do not own a cell phone or facebook. i try to stay lowkey when im out and about.

rainslacker1008d ago

I never liked the "I have nothing to hide" mantra either, but nowadays, the chances that this would add any kind of new insight for the government or companies to use against you is pretty slim. The ability to pool all the data about a single person in one place is so fluid nowadays that it's hardly worth trying to stay off the grid.

People share so much personal crap about themselves instantly nowadays that only 10 years ago they would never even tell their best friends. Other than that, there are so many innocuous things people do for whatever reason that gives companies, and now I guess governments more information on a person than they could possibly ever use in a person's lifetime...the most obvious being those grocery store savings cards, or a persons Amazon browsing history.

Dee_911008d ago

Gumment:We have to install security cameras in your house
Citizen:But why?
Gumment:You don't have anything to hide, do you?
Citizen:No but... okay

-America 2015
Coming to a city near you.

Its not rather you have anything to hide or not or being paranoid,its the principle bro.Your privacy is your privacy, they shouldn't have access to it through any medium but you.If you want to snoop in my internets, come to my house and ask me lol

PoSTedUP1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

yeah they shouldnt. but they already do; is what im saying. and they will do it with or without our consent. we also already pretty much agree to it too through google, facebook, our consoles, handhelds, twitter and everything else that tricks us into agreeing with it in their terms and services.

so its America 2014: been snuck into yo city while you slept.

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Palitera1008d ago

If you were an American citizen, you'd probably be paranoid about terrorism by now, so...

pompombrum1008d ago

Not being an American citizen is even worse. If you was an American citizen, they'd be forced to go through the legal system to get permission to access these sort of data/records. Because you're not an American citizen, your data/records are nothing more than a phone call/email away.

not4gamers1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

Big Brother "Homeland security " aka illuminati doing their thing.CIA are illuminati international pit bulls.
"flame of Udun" is absolutely right . don't mean him and i wrong, retarded , crazy, paranoid because none of you done your RESEARCH .
coming of age no more privacy at home tv's with built in hidden cameras , cameras outdoors , supermarket , retailer , etc

"wake up people "

Grap1008d ago

US Govt already collect data from other countries they don't give a sh!t about it.

NuggetsOfGod1008d ago

Since when is console gaming about freedom?

Once the new Cod comes no one will care.

Blaze9291008d ago

so afterall that Kinect 2.0 backlash, the US government - STILL - is tapping into your stuff. lol

dantesparda1008d ago

And yet people actually thought the government wouldn't have used Kinect to spy on you. Plus you're paying extra to make it even easier for them. Lol

maniacmayhem1007d ago

@Dante

And now the Government is using the PS4 and it's camera to spy on you. Lol

gamesR4fun1003d ago

well its not like they won't spy on you even if your not american as a matter of fact we already know they do
and ya people should be up in arms over this but really if people had any sense they would've risen up a long time ago.

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1008d ago Replies(3)
gangsta_red1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

If the government comes knocking on your door, I don't really see what you (or these companies) can really do to stop them. Sure they can lobby together and delay it, but that takes money and time. And I am sure the gubnet has all the time, legal means and taxation tactics they need to become a headache to any big company that comes their way.

I remember this site had a literal melt down and accused MS of all sorts of invasion of privacy claims and conspiracies. Most even went as far as to say this is why they would never buy a Xbox One and always stuck by Sony.

It'll be interesting to see if people will get as upset about this as they did back then or was it all just another fanboy excuse attempt at downplaying the Xbox One.

DragonKnight1008d ago

Big difference being MS was trying to force always online and a camera being integral to the operation of their console. Any other consoles you know of doing that?

gangsta_red1008d ago

Sorry Dragon, going to have to disagree with you on this one.

Being always online and having a camera doesn't mean that MS was going to spy on you anymore than Destiny being always online and a player having their Kinect set up while playing the game could be either.

I think we all know that the always online was mainly for DRM reasons and Kinect always connected was them pushing the Metro UI.

And regardless of always being online, you think the government couldn't just as easily get your personal info, messages and anything else off your PS4 when it's connected online?

I think this news proves that it wouldn't have mattered, and it doesn't now since Sony is apart of this, just like MS?

Maybe it's time to switch to Nintendo...

DragonKnight1008d ago

It doesn't have to mean it, the point is that the difference between Sony and MS was that Sony didn't already have a pre-existing privacy violation policy with the U.S. government and Sony didn't have an always online console with a always connected camera.

So while it doesn't mean, technically, that MS was going to spy on you, all the evidence of MS' involvement with letting the government spy on their customers anyway places them in a far more incriminating light than it ever would with Sony, who has no such history nor ever required things of consumers that would grant the government a direct line to their (consumers) behavior.

moldybread1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

yes, anyone who owns a smartphone. now please compare how many have a kinect camera for the xbox compared to smartphones.

and let's not get into privacy issues here, sony was hacked and admitted personal data may have been potentially breached. it's why they offered a free subscription to protect yourself in case it happened with a compensation package.

i'm sorry but i'd rather listen to someone more reasonable than one who continually rants about how bad microsoft is and anyone who supports them is an xbot. this us versus them tyrant is getting old.

gangsta_red is right, once you connect online regardless of a camera it's open season to collect data off of you. this isn't mainly about microsoft so let it go already.

Foehammer1008d ago

Rarely have I seen anyone make such backward statements

Time to run, FACTS incoming

http://www.theguardian.com/...

MS has gone to court to make the government requests transparent.

http://news.cnet.com/Sony-s...

Looking for a company that actually implanted DRM and spyware into it's products on it's own and not at the request of any government? Search Sony Rootkit

Please educate yourself on the truth.

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Spotie1008d ago

You know what would be nice? If you people screaming about hypocrisy all the time at least used parallel situations.

For example, where's Sony's history of using Skype or any other program to spy on their consumers? Or Microsoft's recent widely publicized and admitted instanced of suffering a cyber attack? I guess it doesn't matter that the governmental agencies involved are fundamentally different, huh? Or even the fact that this doesn't even say that the same information will be shared means nothing, does it?

I think it's hilarious: these companies sign on to work with the US government to better defend against cyber attacks, and that very idea is the same as Microsoft preemptively offering up their consumers' data.

And of course, there IS what DragonKnight says about Microsoft having in place a console with features that made spying on people all too easy.

Did I mention Microsoft has done it before?

C'mon, man. Before you go screaming about there being hypocrites, you could at least see WHAT information is supposed to be shared.

gangsta_red1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

It would be even better if you and others actually had proof that MS Kinect actually did spy on you and gave your info to big companies.

Any links of this actually happening?

I mean all through the history of 360, can you find me one article that said the Kinect spied on someone flailing their arms and reported it back to the Government?

No, just more conspiracies and a ToS that can be found on any mass media communications device, taken out of context and applied 100x to prove how MS is ruining the video game industry.

And I wonder why you are so quick to point out what MS has done willingly but fail to mention how MS willingly fought back against the NSA.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/...

http://rt.com/news/microsof...

http://www.theinternetpatro...

http://www.washingtonpost.c...

But of course it's easier for you to dismiss these stories and say MS is saving face right? And yes I will scream hypocrisy because as suspected no one is outrage that Sony is doing EXACTLY WHAT YOU are accusing MS of always doing in the past.

In fact, instead of you being disappointed at your favorite company willingness to give your information out, you try and give a history lesson about MS instead.

Once again it is proven that everything MS was crucified for in the past, Sony is doing now (or has been) but now it's not a big deal. I suspect no blogs, no outrage and no claims of " saidcompany" ruining the industry will be mentioned.
How is that for a parallel situation?

remixx1161008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

You know red, there really is no need to turn this into a MS vs Sony thing. I don't see why you feel the need to defend your favorite company at every turn.

The point is and always will be the condensive grip the us gov is putting on these companies, even from the beginning I knew MS didn't want any of this but being the US based company they are they were going to be one of the first ones hit.

There is no fighting it yet MS still tried and lost, it was only a matter of time before they put the grip on Sony, yet Sony being a Japanese based company afforded them a little more time, trust me if they were American based they would've been snatched as early as Google.

So like I said no need to start a "whos the bigger government lamb" argument, its just sad.

No need to be on MS defense 100% of the time

maniacmayhem1008d ago

Funny how people don't want it to turn into a MS vs Sony thing when Sony gets involved.

And how is stating the obvious being on MS defense 100% of the time when a lot of people were on the attacking MS 100% of the time.

remixx1161008d ago

Ughh that's my point, there is no reason to go on defense when no one is attacking, you guys will bring up something from a year ago to try and justify your anger now. If someone is attack at the current then please defend.

And you will try to justify this by saying but but but the Sony fanboys said this back then, it just shows you guys are waiting for some Sony dirt to make a reverse war which just ends up making up everybody involved look like jackasses.

But you guys don't care, by all means defend the fact of who tossed the first stone instead of trying to actually be a gaming community.

I realize we all just look stupid.

mhunterjr1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

I'd love to have a civil conversation about this, but I fear that any discussion here will turn into partisan rhetoric instead of a true search for solutions.

There is a VERY real cyber security threat, that grows more dangerous with each passing day. If the recent, high profile breaches at Target, Sony, Anthem, etc hasn't made that clear, I don't know what will. What about the two American girls who were recruited by ISIS via Twitter? What about the Swatters using secure VOIP as a safe haven?

Look, we need to have public privacy protections. But at the same time, it is the governments responsibility to root out criminals and terrorist wherever they may be hiding, even if it's on Skype, XBL, or PSN.

Do I think the Feds should have the right to indiscriminately monitor our communications? Hell no!! But if they have reason to suspect someone is using an Internet service to coordinate an attack, it isn't unreasonable to expect that service provider to cooperate.

Congress needs to come up with legislation that gives law enforcement the ability to build a case against cyber criminals, but the process needs to be transparent.

Pogmathoin1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

Mhunter, the ones afraid of this are the ones who have something to hide. Most of us go about our daily lives clean, and not bother anyone. People are either paranoid or believe in any rubbish told to them. Many companies have been handing over information for a long time, but will never disclose that fact, and have no obligation to do so either. If it was requested from them, it would have been for good reason. People have this crazed belief that some companies are there for the consumer first, holier than thou, but that is never and will never be the case. MS does get singled out, but they tell you up front what is being done with your information. I would be more concerned with what the other companies have never been telling you. Hell, one company did not even want to tell you your credit card info was compromised......

Foxhound, you saying UK, France, Germany and others have your interests at heart? Germany will drive all of Europe bankrupt ffs.... And middle east would be fine? That only applies if your in the current tribe in power..... If not your slaughter fodder....

stuna11008d ago

I disagree! There are plenty of people who have nothing to hide that don't want some bulldog government group snooping into their day to day affairs.

One thing that gets my goat is no one is asking the bigger question ! Who is policing the police!? Corruption isn't just some one sided coin, and criminals reside in all faucets of everyday life! From the lowest crevasse of life, all the way to the highest peaks.

DragonKnight1008d ago

What was that saying "Those who would trade liberty for some temporary security deserve neither."

The government's job isn't to destroy core tenets of society in order to do its job. You can't have a privacy act and then go completely against it.

And people using the "people upset by this have something to hide" B.S. argument are wholly ignorant and mentally deficient. Rights are to be fought for else there's no point in having them.

When the government decides to say you can't say anything negative against it, I hope you'll have the same attitude about following those rules as you do about accepting privacy rights violations.

Volkama1008d ago

Can always tell you are struggling with topic when you start accusing people of being immature or mentally deficient. Seriously, that is no way to approach a discussion.

mhunterjr1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

That extremist quote is BS. There is a delicate balance between security and privacy. There always will be.

For instance, we all appreciate the privacy of our own homes. You'd hate to live in a world where the police could raid your house on a whim. But at the same time, if your neighbor was leading a drug cartel from his basement, you'd want law enforcement to have the authority to enter his home, and secure the evidence needed to lock him away... To protect your family. We have a process that allows for legal search and seizure of the homes of suspected criminals.

We need to have similar processes in place to protect ourselves from cyber crimes. But if every tech companies policy favors privacy absolutely, while ignoring all valid security concerns, then the Internet will only become more and more danger. Do you truly believe that someone who has an interest in eliminating criminals ability to hide in cyberspace doesn't deserve liberty or security? That's ridiculous. There are certainly ways to maintain the privacy of the general public, while at the same time giving law enforcement the tools they need to bring criminals to justice.

moldybread1008d ago

@mhunterjr,

"That extremist quote is BS. There is a delicate balance between security and privacy. There always will be."

but that is how you gain attention, by being extreme to try and make a point even if it sounds ridiculous to the average person. i swear some people are attention seekers and love to dramatize things to try and get a point across because they are so rooted in their views that it's almost impossible to ever get them to change that view. they are not here for a discussion, they are here to tell you something and will do everything they can to be heard while trying even harder to squash any opposition.

my first comment talks about balance, some people don't want or care about balance because their views are so left wing or so right wing it's impossible. there must be a way to protect the innocent while still being able to go after those who should have their data exposed.

SilentNegotiator1008d ago

A very balanced take. There definitely aren't any easy solutions to this stuff.

But with the amount of power that the federal government has snapped up with both legislation and hush hush executive orders, it's hard to not be worried about any give to the government.

Tsubasa-Oozora1008d ago

@mhunterjr

So terrorists are hanging out on PSN and Xbox Live now?
Don't you see how idiotic you sound.

You mean to tell me Osama and his people in the cave are lounging on PSN and XBL? From Inside a Cave??

CYBER SECURITY and TERRORIST THREATS have nothing in common.

Terrorists are not going to cyber attack Target, or Best Buy, or whatever. Why should they?

Cyber Attacks can be PREVENTED by security specialists, you dont need to give up YOUR data in order to keep Target and Walmart safe.

mhunterjr1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

How do you know terrorist aren't hanging out of Xbox live or PSN? If you were a terrorist, and you knew that your phone comms could be bugged, but your Xbox live comms couldn't be, which service would you use to communicate? These people are very opportunistic. For example:

"LulzSec leaked the New Jersey Fusion Center document about MS-13 members using gaming consoles to direct operational activities, including murder, criminal activity, luring minor females across state lines for sex, and new member initiation. Posted on Public Intelligence, the "Law Enforcement Sensitive" release states, "MS-13 members in Los Angeles have directed operational activities of new MS-13 members in Birmingham, United Kingdom, using gaming consoles such as Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox 360. The MS-13 leaders appear to be taking advantage of the devices' voice over internet protocol (VOIP), text chat, virtual world, and video teleconferencing features, which allow them to communicate with fellow gang members overseas."-- in other words, you are naive to think this doesn't happen.

Again, I'm not saying the Feds need to have legal authority to eavesdrop on all civilian while they game. I'm saying that if law enforcement receives credible Intel that a suspect is involved in terrorist/criminal activity, and is using an social media service (including Xbox live or PSN) to discuss/plan this activity, then after judicial review, the Feds should be able to aquire pertinent data from the service provider.

PS, it takes a fool to think all terror suspects act out of a cave. Do you remember 911? Those hijackers lived it houses, in America, pretending to live normal lives before the attack. The Boston Marathon Bombers? Same deal. The Charlie Hebdo attackers? Same deal. These people are hiding right under our noses... If you don't think they will crawl into any possible hole to hide, you are a fool.

And those security specials can't prevent anything if the attackers are using anonymous services to coordinate and launch the attacks. This whole discussion is about requiring those services to make data more available to security specialists working for law enforcement.

rainslacker1008d ago

I agree with you, but there is something in the US called due process. Due process is done on an individual level, and government agencies aren't allowed to go on fishing expeditions to try and incriminate someone. This is true in cyber identity as well.

However, in the case of cyber attacks, I see it more as a criminal investigation, and the company being attacked cooperating with the authorities just makes sense. It doesn't necessarily mean that the companies are giving away information on everyone and everything on the network, just the specifics of the attack. Having been in IT security I can tell you that during an attack, or even a outage, there is a tremendous amount of data collected, which can often be used by authorities on the rare occasions they actually do something.

If from that data, it comes back that some other service provider is masking a users identity, then there are already laws in place to get that information legally, so nothing has really changed.

The idea of monitoring communications, in real time, of every citizen of the US, much less the world, is not really practical, and not even that productive for any government agency to do. They still target what they listen to, and generally only do it with people they have information on. It does do away with due process, but if the authorities don't find what they're looking for by the monitoring of those communications they move on. Even during the monitoring, it's more often than not done by computer analysis for keywords, with only the serious or verifiable threats possibly having a real person listening in covertly.

I agree that the process should be transparent, but at the same time, the US media, politicians, and often times many of it's citizens can not look at things with a level head, and can not see why some things may be necesarry, and not understanding that laws are supposed to be put in place to limit what the government can do in this case. If they could be reasonable, then it's possible these kinds of laws could come into effect with proper oversight, instead of just misinformed knee-jerk reactions.

WelkinCole1008d ago

Agree.

What needs to be done though is they need to be transparent and accountable which will help keep them honest.

If a situation where there is a real threat and time is critical then I don't mind them getting info asap. This needs to be verified which means the intelligence apparatus needs to be streamlined.

As much as the laws should be updated. The intelligence community should work smarter to mine the info they require at a faster rate that identify real threats than knowing about my itchy balls from my PS4.

This is eliminate discriminate snooping but will also get them better intel to protect us better.

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F0XHOUND1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

Well, the us government is as corrupt as it can get. As are any tbh. This can't be good.

Literally, if USA is trying to "help" your country.... they mean takeover lol! The middle east would be fine if the world left them alone!

Bit off topic lol

TheTimeDoctor1008d ago

Haha yeah, the middle east would be fine. They've enslaved and slaughtered each other for 2000 years. I agree the US does nothing to fix the middle east as they are only interested in the area for oil reasons, but to say the middle east is would be fine is laughable. Its a whole region of savages who are about 600 years behind the civilized world.

ShaunCameron1007d ago

Too bad the civilized world is repeating the same mistakes that ancient Rome made once it reached that certain level of affluence.

SilentNegotiator1008d ago (Edited 1008d ago )

Obviously you don't know much about history. Most ignorant US detractors don't.

The middle east had more than its share of stability issues before the US got involved or even existed.

knickstr1008d ago

Yeah, because they do so well when they're left alone.