Who's analysing our trans-Atlantic phone calls?

privacy       2003-07-17 
Who's listening to your phone calls? One of the most commonly heard IT myths has it that governments and large telcos are in cahoots, tapping calls, especially those between the US and other countries, listening for key incriminating phrases.
The idea has been made popular by certain groups and conspiracy theorists. In the 1998 film Enemy of the State one key character, Gene Hackman's 'Brill', talks of a secret server farm owned by the CIA/FBI/NSA that crunches through millions of calls for just that reason.