Gingrich Says Lawmakers to Reexamine Free Speech

John Stuart
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has predicted that U.S. lawmakers will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.

Speaking at a Manchester banquet held at the Radisson Hotel Center of New Hampshire, Gingrich said a “different set of rules” may be needed to reduce the ability of so-called terrorists to use the Internet and to use free speech to get out their message. Gingrich spoke last night at the annual Nackey S. Loeb 1st Amendment award dinner, which was created to recognize people and organizations that have championed freedom of speech.

Although Gingrich didn’t specify which free speech laws may need to be changed, he said “we need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade.”

The comments of the former speaker who helped engineer the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 produced an immediate response from the Free Speech Coalition regarding adult entertainment.

“The Patriot Act already has been used to gather evidence and for prosecution of individuals and companies in the adult entertainment industry,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke told XBIZ. “Clearly, a different set of rules scenario already has been damaging to the industry. If free speech is not available to all, the freedom on which this country was based is not available to anyone.”

Duke said that statements such as those by Gingrich are “always alarming,” and urged people to speak up and let their opinions be known.