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.”
Gingrich’s aides posted the audio on the web at the time, but the file seems to be gone now. My recollection is that the former House speaker didn’t go into great detail, but suggested that a group of retired judges or other respected individuals should be empowered to shut down websites that foment anti-American violence. He did not explain how the U.S. would take down sites on servers beyond the reach of U.S. law.
At the time, Gingrich conceded that the kinds of controls he was proposing for the web would trigger “a serious debate about the First Amendment,” but he said the intrusion was needed because of the apocalyptic nature of the threat posed by Islamic terrorists.