Cherie Anderson runs a travel company in southern California, and she's convinced the federal government is reading her emails. But she's all right with that.
"I assume it's part of the Patriot Act and I really don't mind," she says. "I figure I'm probably boring them to death."
It's likely Anderson is not alone in her concerns that the government may be monitoring what Americans say, write, and read. And now there may be even more to worry about: a newly revealed security research project called PRODIGAL -- the Proactive Discovery of Insider Threats Using Graph Analysis and Learning -- which has been built to scan IMs, texts and emails . . . and can read approximately a quarter billion of them a day.
"Every time someone logs on or off, sends an email or text, touches a file or plugs in a USB key, these records are collected within the organization," David Bader, a professor at the Georgia Tech School of Computational Science and Engineering and a principal investigator on the project, told FoxNews.com.
PRODIGAL scans those records for behavior -- emails to unusual recipients, certain words cropping up, files transferred from unexpected servers -- that changes over time as an employee "goes rogue." The system was developed at Georgia Tech in conjunction with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Army's secretive research arm that works on everything from flying cars to robotic exoskeletons.