Friday, June 17, 2005

A case for the precogs?

Questions, Bitterness and Exile for Queens Girl in Terror Case - New York Times

This is the story of a teenager who was a bit more into her faith than other girls of her age and faith. This also shows what has happened to America after 9/11. It looks calm and all that - but there is a lot of furious work going on behind the scenes.

NYT has done a commendable job in bringing this story out. I suppose many cases like these happen everyday - but none get reported. We have seen movies like Will Smith's Enemy of the State. A crude example but it kind of tells you the kind of surroundings that people in the US are living in. I was living there too.

Of course, listening to a known crackpot and a dangerous cleric such as the one in the piece is asking for trouble. Which is precisely what this girl, Tashnuba did.

But the intelligence machinery in the US is seriously intimidating. Imagine somebody or something recording everything about a particular web site. And then taking action on it. This situation again brings "Enemy of the State" or Mel Gibson's "Conspiracy Theory" to mind. I've heard stories where a few Indian programmers were surprised by an FBI team who had been tipped off after the Indians rented a copy of "Siege" (starring Denzel Washington - which seemed eerily prescient) and then had to do a lot of explaining. Of course, this was on 9/11 itself and these programmers were really clueless on the magnitude of the event.

With all the surveillance equipment stalking people everywhere they go, I wonder if there is any privacy at all. I suppose privacy exists only in the space between one's ears - but I won't be surprised if some device is invented to dump the contents of one's brains out.

Thank God we don't have something like the precogs in Minority Report! Otherwise everybody walking on the street would get arrested for one offence or the other.

"In the name of the law, I arrest you for having the intention to drive your car at 90mph in a 65mph zone"

"But I don't even have a car!"

"But you are considering buying one soon, right ?"

"Yes, but..."

"Ahha!! Gotcha! We've been looking at you ever since you rented Fast and the Furious."

I kind of digressed but isn't this similar to what the FBI has done?

Remember... you're being watched.......

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