Pew Research Center. November 12, 2014.

Privacy evokes a constellation of concepts for Americans—some of them tied to traditional notions of civil liberties and some of them driven by concerns about the surveillance of digital communications and the coming era of “big data.” While Americans’ associations with the topic of privacy are varied, the majority of adults polled in this survey feel that their privacy is being challenged along such core dimensions as the security of their personal information and their ability to retain confidentiality. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [PDF format, 57 pages].

Pew Research Center. November 3, 2014.

Cell phones and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are playing an increasingly prominent role in how voters get political information and follow election news, according to this report. The proportion of Americans who use their cell phones to track political news or campaign coverage has doubled compared with the most recent midterm election: 28% of registered voters have used their cell phone in this way during the 2014 campaign, up from 13% in 2010. Further, the number of Americans who follow candidates or other political figures on social media has also risen sharply: 16% of registered voters now do this, up from 6% in 2010. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [PDF format, 11 pages].

Cyber Attacks Likely to Increase

On November 3, 2014, in Science & Technology, by editor1

Pew Research Center. October 29, 2014.

The Internet has become so integral to economic and national life that government, business, and individual users are targets for ever-more frequent and threatening attacks. Experts believe nations, rogue groups, and malicious individuals will step up their assaults on communications networks, targeting institutions, financial services agencies, utilities, and consumers over the next decade. Although most expect there will be more attacks, many predict effective counter moves will generally contain the damage. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [PDF format, 63 pages].

Pew Research Center. October 28, 2014.

Voters are reporting roughly similar levels of contact from political campaigns and groups as four years ago, with one notable exception. The share of voters who say they have received a phone call about the election has fallen 12 points since mid-October 2010, from 59% to 47%. This decline has been driven by a fall in the percentage saying they have gotten pre-recorded campaign calls, or robo-calls. Other forms of campaign outreach appear to be close to levels measured in 2010. Nearly two-thirds of voters (65%) say they have gotten printed mail from candidates or political groups; 30% have gotten an email. Slightly fewer voters say they have been visited at home by someone than did so four years ago (14% now, 18% then). And the share of voters receiving text messages from candidates or political groups has remained flat (at 4%) since 2010. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [PDF format, 16 pages].

Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age

On October 10, 2014, in Science & Technology, by editor1

Pew Research Internet Project. October 9, 2014.

The age of gigabit connectivity is dawning and will advance in coming years. The only question is how quickly it might become widespread. A gigabit connection can deliver 1,000 megabits of information per second (Mbps). Globally, cloud service provider Akamai reports that the average global connection speed in quarter one of 2014 was 3.9 Mbps, with South Korea reporting the highest average connection speed, 23.6 Mbps and the U.S. at 10.5 Mbps. In some respects, gigabit connectivity is not a new development. The U.S. scientific community has been using hyper-fast networks for several years, changing the pace of data sharing and enabling levels of collaboration in scientific disciplines that were unimaginable a generation ago. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [PDF format, 55 pages].