Gingrich: Government Needs To Limit Free Speech - InformationWeek

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Commentary
11/29/2006
12:39 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
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Gingrich: Government Needs To Limit Free Speech

WCSH6 in Portland, Maine: "Gingrich Says Government May Have To Limit Speech In Terror War: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich used a New Hampshire event dedicated to freedom of speech to say the United States will have to re-examine that constitutional right as it fights terrorism." He reportedly singled out the Internet as a channel that needs "a different set of rules." This story has been making the rounds of the Int

WCSH6 in Portland, Maine: "Gingrich Says Government May Have To Limit Speech In Terror War: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich used a New Hampshire event dedicated to freedom of speech to say the United States will have to re-examine that constitutional right as it fights terrorism." He reportedly singled out the Internet as a channel that needs "a different set of rules."

This story has been making the rounds of the Internet, I've seen it in a couple of places. I sure hope Gingrich is being misquoted or quoted out of context here, because if he actually means this, it shows a shocking disregard for fundamental American values.

Does anybody reading this know if this is what Gingrich actually said?

Update: Eric Hall points me to www.newt.org, which has a transcript of the relevant portion of Gingrich's speech. It appears that Gingrich was, indeed, quoted accurately and in context.

So let's say we revoke free-speech protection for terrorists and their supporters. Who decides who's a terrorist? That's the danger of censorship, it's too tempting for government to use it to stifle dissent, disagreement, and unpopular opinion. Censorship simply swaps the threat of terrorism for government oppression.

There are already laws against speech which incites to violence, those are sufficient.

And if the terrorists are planning attacks, we want them to do it on the Internet, in the open, where we have a better chance of keeping an eye on them.

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