I have often wondered what would have happened if Caesar’s murderers had modern technology. Would they have texted each other in anticipation of the murder? Would a Roman equivalent of the NSA have caught them prior to the act? How about Booth and his cohorts? Could you imagine cell phones in the age of Lincoln? Ben Franklin revealed multiple conspiracies in his time, and engaged in a few of his own. Of course, as the Rupert Murdoch of his day, Franklin was both a genius and a man fascinated by the mercurial elements of conspiratorial behavior.
With the recent revelations of the NSA’s profound reach into our private lives, conspiracy itself may have a limited life. If all our communications can be tracked, and therefore privacy is truly dead, then the secret environ needed to birth conspiracy is now rendered barren.
Conspiracies are like mold. They need dark places to hatch. The modern age may have killed privacy, but in some ways, it has created a bacteria free environ deleterious to the secretive nature of conspiracy. Put away the tin foil hats.