NSA Could Be to Blame For Why 15 Percent of Americans Swear Off Internet, As Digital Ad Revenue Rises

A brand-spanking-new Pew Research study reveals that nearly a quarter of American adults don't use the Internet at home, with 15 percent swearing off the Web entirely — and by that, we mean entirely: they don't even have an e-mail address. It's not just the older generation, though almost half of adults aged 65 and above don't use the Internet, and they make up about half of the country's non-Internet users.

So, who's the other half?

Well, a third of those who don't use the Web just don't "get" it: they say it's not useful, not needed, and not interesting. (Clearly, they haven't seen Ylvis' "The Fox.") Another third believe that it's not as easy thing to master, and some of that third also expressed worries about the privacy implications. Notably, more concerns about the fallibility of Internet privacy were reported than in previous years, likely due to the explosion of revelations about the NSA's surveillance programs this year.

Twenty percent of non-webbies believed Web access was too expensive to be worth it, and seven percent said that they weren't physically able to access the Internet where they lived. (Don't worry: Mark Zuckerberg is on it.) And another nine percent of Americans use the Internet in their daily life but don't have access at home, bringing the total of Americans who don't have Web access to a quarter of the country.

Fun vintage fact: three percent of American adults still access the Internet through dial-up.

Even if only a quarter of Americans do use the Internet at home, digital ad revenue is going through the roof, and reported a sharp increase in their quarter reports Wednesday. Digital ad sales have climbed steadily over the past few years, growing at a rate of about 15 percent, according to one analyst. Recently, CBS and AOL have made huge investments in the digital-ad game.