When Hungary's government announced a per-megabyte tax on Internet traffic, people were pissed; a week later, 100,000 people took to the streets to let Prime Minister Viktor Orbán know how they felt about the proposal.
The issue has come to stand for the alienation of Hungarians from the mainstream political parties, and has left the government backpedalling, now offering to cap the maximum monthly tax bill at about $3/connection -- down from the approximately $294 that the original proposal would have levied on each household (this being equal to the monthly rent on a nice apartment in Budapest).
The march passed several symbols of what they see as the arrogant cronyism of the Orbán regime: numerous "National Tobacco Shops" — nationalized tobacconists awarded to party loyalists as a state monopoly was created two years ago — under the spectacular Buda Palace that Orbán will soon make his office, and past the historic, recently renovated Várkert Bázar market building, which the PM opened to great fanfare in election week, only for it to close again just days later.
Krisztián Bán, a 28-year-old member of Occupy Hungary, told VICE News: "This is just the final straw. There have been so many lies and corruption scandals that people just switched off, but now this is coming up to the surface." He mentioned a recent tax office scandal, official anti-European Union rhetoric, Hungary's closer relations to Russia, and the banning of homelessness from public spaces as examples of the authoritarian tendencies of Orbán's government, which retained power in April in a ballot that OSCE election observers described as "free but not fair."
Huge Internet Tax Protests Galvanize Government Opposition in Hungary [Daniel Nolan/Vice]
(Image: András D. Hajdú)
Politico spoke to four former congressional staffers who'd been assigned to Rep. Tom Garrett [R-VA] who say that the Congressman and his wife treated the staff as "personal servants," demanding that they run personal errands for the Congressman and his family (including handling his dog's feces), and that they were expected to do these things […]
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists teamed up with the Norbert Zongo Cell for Investigative Journalism (Cenozo) to delve deep into 27.5 million files from the Offshore Leaks, Swiss Leaks, Panama Papers and Paradise Papers to investigate how the super-rich in 15 West African countries have looted their countries' wealth and then smuggled it offshore […]
Amazon bills its Rekognition image classification system as a "deep learning-based image and video analysis" system; it markets the system to US police forces for use in analyzing security camera footage, including feeds from police officers' bodycams.
Businesses big and small use Microsoft Excel for everything from data visualization to bookkeeping, and chances are you’ve already had some exposure to this ubiquitous tool. Whether you’re looking to improve your hiring potential or boost your Excel efficiency, the Ultimate All-Level Excel Bootcamp can get you Excel-savvy with nearly 70 hours of training, and it’s […]
The workday is long, and inevitably, you’re going to find yourself needing to take a break from the daily grind. With Mini Materials Miniature Cinder Blocks, you can take some time for yourself and decompress by turning your desk into a miniature construction site. They’re available today in the Boing Boing Store for $22.49. Handmade […]
Handheld radios might seem a bit archaic, but in an emergency situation, few things will keep you as reliably connected to the outside world. This Emergency Multi-Function Radio & Flashlight takes the utility of the tried-and-true radio and combines it with a powerful flashlight and self-sufficient energy system. It’s available in the Boing Boing Store for […]