Saturday, January 21, 2012

In 2006, Gingrich Backed Censoring the Web

Gingrich is capable of saying or doing anything. It is indeed frightening to think that such a man could conceivably become President:

At Thursday night's debate in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich painted himself as a friend of a free and open Internet, but in the past he's talked up pretty radical proposals to curtail free speech online.

The question Thursday was about the Stop Online Piracy Act, legislation that has the support of the entertainment industry and powerful members of the House and Senate, but is now on life support after running into a firestorm of criticism from Internet users, tech companies like Google, and activists who shut down websites in protest earlier this week.

"You have virtually everybody who's technologically advanced, including, you know, Google and YouTube and Facebook and all the folks, who say this is going to totally mess up the Internet, and the bill in its current form is written really badly and leads to a range of censorship that is totally unacceptable. Well, I favor freedom," Gingrich said. "The idea that we're going to preemptively have the government start censoring the Internet on behalf of giant corporations' economic interests strikes me as exactly the wrong thing to do."

But back in 2006, Gingrich argued censoring the Internet would be the right thing to do when it comes to Islamic radicals who use the web to organize jihad against the U.S.

"We need to get ahead of the curve rather than wait until we actually literally lose a city, which I think could literally happen in the next decade if we're unfortunate," Mr. Gingrich said during a speech in New Hampshire, according to a story I wrote at the time for The New York Sun. "We now should be impaneling people to look seriously at a level of supervision that we would never dream of if it weren't for the scale of the threat."
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