More Citizens Reach Out With the Internet
One reason that information security is such a growing issue for governments is suggested by a new study showing that Internet users are increasingly turning to e-government sites to carry out their business with government.
New research by the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that 97 million adult Americans, or 77 percent of Internet users, took advantage of e-government in 2003, whether that meant visiting government Web-sites or e-mailing government officials. This represented a growth of 50 percent from 2002.
E-government increases the flow of information between citizens and government, allowing people to contact agencies directly over the Web or to find out more about a problem for which they may need government assistance before they pick up the phone.
Here are some findings:
Internet users are about three times as likely as non-Internet users to get in touch with government.
30 percent of Internet users have e-mailed a government official in order to try to influence policy or change a politician’s position on a law.
Half of all Internet users and 59 percent of online users with broadband connections at home say that the Internet has helped their relationship with government.