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20 million Americans see Starr's report on Internet

Congress September 13, 1998
Web posted at: 6:39 p.m. EDT (2239 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Twelve percent of adult Americans -- some 20 million people -- used the Internet to gain access to Independent Counsel Ken Starr's report on President Clinton, according to survey by a polling company.

"It's probably the single highest number of people who have ever used the computer to access a single document," David Webber of the Frank Lutz polling company told CNN on Sunday.

The survey of 800 adults was conducted on Friday and Saturday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus three and a half percentage points.

The survey showed 15 percent of American males and 8 percent of females went online to read the document, which includes graphic descriptions of sexual acts that Monica Lewinsky testified she and the president performed.

"That's 20 million people all logging on to get the same information at the same time," Webber said.

While there was gridlock in some corners, the Internet did not melt down under the demand, as some had predicted. Seven government sites that carried the report, which are usually lightly visited, were swamped.

According to the Internet Traffic Report, a Web site that monitors the Net's speed, North America and Europe were most affected, especially the New York and Washington areas.

At CNN Interactive, the traffic was twice the site's daily average and eclipsed all previous traffic volumes. America Online saw its traffic surge 30 percent; on The Associated Press Web site, it was 20 times the normal load.

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