At Least 1.1 Million Pennsylvania Homes Lack Internet Access

Jul 20, 2015
Molly Duerig / PublicSource

President Barack Obama called the Internet “one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.” However, for many Americans, like Tracy Emerson of West Philadelphia, full connectivity remains out of reach.

A New Phase in the Net Neutrality Public Comment Period

Jul 24, 2014
Seeweb / Flickr

Net Neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications, regardless of the source and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

During the most recent comment period, the Federal Communications Commission has received an overwhelming response from the public on this issue. In addition, Google as well as other companies are in support of the initiative. Orion Czarnecki Founder/Director of the security company known as Threat Level. He says when it comes to “paid privatization,” a phrase that’s at the heart of the issue, an ISP can charge a service provider or edge provider an additional fee for faster access by end users. 

Net Neutrality 101 and What's at Stake With the FCC Ruling

May 5, 2014
Lindsey Turner / Flickr

Net neutrality, the concept used when we talk about the importance of a free and open internet has an uncertain future. Recent rule changes from the Federal Communications Commission may alter the way internet service providers offer access to consumers. 

Orion Czarnecki is an internet security consultant who breaks down the concept of net neutrality.

"When a consumer would increaser or request any type of traffic over the internet, whether its video, a website, email, that traffic is treated by their internet provider as equal. No traffic is favored over another type of traffic. So a video from Netflix is not favored over a video from YouTube. A webpage request at CNN is not favored over a webpage request from MSNBC." 

But this concept has changed with a new ruling from January of this year.

Pittsburgh area researchers are getting a major boost in their ability to share datasets, thanks to the work of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

The Center is a collaboration of the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Westinghouse Energy Center, and provides Internet connectivity to many universities and research centers in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia through the Three Rivers Optical Exchange Internet2 system.

Google's traveling "Good to Know Roadshow" program presented at an assembly Monday at Pittsburgh Obama Academy to teach middle school students about the importance of using the Internet safely.

Google spokeswoman Jamie Hill said it was their first time making the presentation in Pennsylvania. Google has an office at Bakery Square in the Larimer section of Pittsburgh. Hill said research shows 93 percent of teenagers are using the Internet.

ebayink / flickr

Internet addiction is said to be more pervasive than alcoholism in the United States, and while treatment is available, how do you know when you need it?

Dr. Kimberly Young is founder of the Center for Internet Addiction at Bradford Regional Medical Center in central Pennsylvania, the first inpatient treatment program for Internet addiction in the nation.

Dr. Young says she first encountered internet addiction in 1994 when she learned that a friend’s husband was spending more than 50 hours a week in AOL chat rooms, at a time when internet usage was billed by the hour.

“It made me wonder, ‘could people get addicted to the internet in the same way we talk about drugs, alcohol, food, and gambling?’,” says Young.

From there she met people who have experienced job-loss, weight-loss and ruined relationships, because they couldn’t control their use of the internet.

A majority of Internet users admit they have taken steps to avoid surveillance by other people or organizations (including the government), and many believe current privacy laws do not go far enough in protecting online privacy.

The Pew Research Center and Carnegie Mellon University conducted a national survey to determine the level of desire among Internet users to be anonymous online, why and what problems they have encountered.

One of the findings is that 86 percent of Internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints.