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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 8 April, 2003, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
US turns to net for war updates
US soldier in Iraq
Thirst for information about events in Iraq extends to the web
US citizens are turning to the internet in record numbers to find out about the war in Iraq, a survey has found.

According to a report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project 77% of Americans have used the net to find out about the conflict.

While TV remains the dominant way of getting war news, the numbers going online have leapt since the terrorist attacks on September 11.

Back then only 3% of online Americans said the net was their primary source of information about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Alternative sources

The internet must be allowed to freely perform its unique and vital role as a promoter of freedom of expression especially in times of conflict
Statement from APC
Now 17% of Americans say they are turning to the web as their first source of news about developments in Iraq.

Over half of Americans are using e-mail in connection with the war, using it to express their views on the war, to discuss it with friends and to receive news alerts.

Since the war began, search engines have been inundated with war-related queries.

Alongside traditional online sources, both the Arab and English website of news channel al-Jazeera have been extremely popular

Political censorship

But both have been dogged by hack attacks and a decision by US-based web firm Akamai Technologies to cancel its security contract, left the site even more vulnerable.

The Association for Progressive Communications, an international civil liberties group, has condemned what it describes as "political censorship by internet service providers or hosts".

"APC opposes actions against the online presence of al-Jazeera. The internet must be allowed to freely perform its unique and vital role as a promoter of freedom of expression especially in times of conflict," the organisation said in a statement.

APC is also unhappy about what it describes as implicit sympathy for the hackers of the al-Jazeera site from US security firms which have described the hack attacks as patriotic.

Web firm cuts al-Jazeera ties
05 Apr 03  |  Technology

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