Back in December, when I was in Singapore, the librarians took me out for dinner to a fancy schmancy buffet kind of restaurant. And as we gathered our food and sat down to enjoy we began talking about this that and the other, and somehow the topic of the privacy of emails came up.

And years before that, when I was on a published authors internet board, I mentioned that when I checked my webstats for my website (back then I didn’t have a blog) one of the consistent peekers at my website included the U.S. military and I said something like, “I’m sure they’re watching me.”

Thing is, I said this with a sort of ‘shrug of the shoulders’ attitude because I have nothing to hide. But the reaction from the others on the board was curious. They all said, “No, Rukhsana. It couldn’t be. Probably it’s just some members of the military who are checking out your work.”

I said I doubted it but it wasn’t worth arguing about.

I guess it’s hard for them to realize that most Muslims feel like they’re being watched.

Same thing happened at the restaurant in Singapore with my colleagues. I told them flat out that I assume every one of my emails is being read by someone monitoring me.

They looked at me like I was paranoid.


Who was it who said, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you?”

Okay, just googled it and it seems as if it was Joseph Heller who wrote Catch 22, who said that.

And wow, look how all that fiction is becoming reality!

After the NSA–Edward Snowden bombshell this past week, I can’t help feeling a little smug and vindicated.

And also feeling that most North Americans are actually kind of naive. They trust their governments too much.

And yet this violates the very principles that America was founded on.

It was Ben Franklin who said, “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security, deserve neither.”

A very admirable and profound sentiment!

I remember standing at his gravesite, just across the commons where the Declaration of Independence was signed and feeling moved.


That showed a real vision for the country! I think Americans do realize how fortunate they were to have some pretty impressive minds putting their country together!

Too bad they’ve strayed so far from their vision.

And now we have Snowden’s whistle blowing to confirm it.

And yet it wasn’t that long ago when I watched Morgan Freeman in that movie Seven with Brad Pitt. Remember that scene where he says, “Look, I know a way. We’re not legally allowed to do this…” And then they check out the library records to find who’s been looking into Dante’s inferno and referencing the seven deadly sins to catch the serial killer.

Funny how tentative the Morgan Freeman character was when he confessed it. Because he knew that it’s a violation of privacy and hence the constitution.

They’re basically violating their own laws!


That doesn’t even make anyone bat their eyelashes!

We all know they’re monitoring what websites we access and what books we take out from the library.

And in the wake of all that, last night we watched ‘V for Vendetta’ and a lot of things finally started to gel inside my head.

I’d heard that it was this movie where the whole idea for the masks that Anonymous, that internet hacking group wears came from.

Watch the movie.

It’s supposed to be fiction, but it’s surprising how close it has hit to the truth. One of the characters says, “Artists use lies to tell the truth while politicians use lies to hide the truth.”

And Obama, the consumate disappointment, has completely proven that to be true.

Yeah, so I feel vindicated.

But ironically, I’d so much rather feel that I had overeacted.