I stopped using my Hotmail account in favour of Google's service, but I made sure to login every month to keep it going, and to preserve all those old emails.
And then one month, in around 2007, I forgot and the whole thing was wiped.
I was upset to lose all that correspondence, that history with some people who had now passed on, even a genuine death threat from someone who really should have known better. All those moments… lost in time.
But then I heard this week about the NSA's extensive history, getting access to Microsoft's servers, tracking and recording people's actions and I thought… maybe they backed up my Hotmail account. I'm sure I emailed about terrorism during that period. From discussing the similarities between the events of Starship Troopers and 9/11, to the relevance of V For Vendetta to the activities of the Bush administration, and the rationale behind Joe Quesada being a communist sleeper spy. And I'm a foreigner, all very suspicious stuff. I bet they were all over that.
So, dear NSA, dear Prism, I'm happy for you to read all my emails, all my instant messages, all my Facebook posts. But if you did back up my Hotmail account – email@example.com – could I have it a copy? It would really make my day.