Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Communications Government The Almighty Buck Politics

Hungary's Plans For Internet Tax On Hold After Protests 48

An anonymous reader writes: When news broke last week that the Hungarian government was planning to tax internet traffic at a rate of about 62 cents per gigabyte, people on the internet were outraged. But it went beyond that: there were protests in the streets in Hungary, and the European Union warned against the plan. Now, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has put the plans on hold, saying, "This tax in its current form cannot be introduced." It's not completely dead — Orban has planned consultations over the next year to look for other ways to tax revenue generated over the internet.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hungary's Plans For Internet Tax On Hold After Protests

Comments Filter:
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @10:20AM (#48278401)
    I honestly can't say how much traffic I pass. I'm curious as to how they came up with the rate they did, and how that number looks in Euros rather than US Dollars...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      DD-WRT has daily and monthly usage counters. It's become a point of pride for my roommates and I how big we can get our high score.

    • Yes, my ISP (cox cable) provides usage statistics. I was only made aware of them when I got a nasty email warning that we had gone over our (250GB) limit! (Which I didn't know we had.)

      Aside from the one time, we had a perfect storm of events ("big sale" at Steam, someone on a Netflix binge for days, while recovering from a medical procedure, etc).

      Normally, my household usage is about 3GB /day (90GB/month).

      I would be pissed too, about a proposed, new monthly tax that would be over $50, for me. (
    • Last time I ran a bandwidth meter under heavy netflix usage, I have 200GB in one month. So I'd get taxed $124 for using netflix, lol. I wonder if the PM of Hungary even knows how computers work or how to send an e-mail. He seems like that level of idiot.
      • He probably doesn't. He'd the proverbial white trash right wing hick.

        It seems to work well for some countries, but I still say it's generally not a good idea to make the village idiot the mayor.

        • He might indeed be a stupid hick, but imposing taxes on every little thing is not something right-wingers typically do. That's primarily the purview of left-wing "progressives".

          Europe, or the rest of the world for that matter, doesn't share the all-or-nothing approach of American politics. Over there it's typical for political parties and politicians to be staunchly conservative on some policies and hard-left socialist on others.

          • Don't conflate the European right with the American. The European Right is usually anything BUT "libertarian". Taxing something isn't considered inherently evil by them, as long as it doesn't cut into the profits of conservative, old and entrenched businesses.

    • I honestly can't say how much traffic I pass. I'm curious as to how they came up with the rate they did, and how that number looks in Euros rather than US Dollars...

      My wife and I both work at home. She's using citrix or something to do a virtual desktop. I work in the music publishing and licensing industry and move quite a few AIFs and WAVs around. We use 250GB+ every month.

      That would be 150 Euro's per month in tax. For what?

      People should be pissed off.

    • The only reason I know how much I use is because I'm frequently bumping up against my ISP's bandwidth cap (and thus getting stern warnings from them as I approach it), despite being on their highest-tier residential plan (i.e. the one with the highest cap) and despite not engaging in any illegal downloading (really!). They instituted it about a year back after placing some fine print (that I didn't see until afterwards) in one of my monthly statements, and I was immediately forced to upgrade my plan to a hi

    • by IANAAC ( 692242 )
      I try to keep a decent handle on what I use, at least when it comes to a cellular hotspot I use.

      One tool I use with a laptop (but it could easily be installed on a Linux or BSD-based router, is VNStat - humdi.net/vnstat/

      It can monitor and report hourly, daily, monthly, etc and you can easily chose what interface to report (it monitors all active interfaces). There's also some graphics reporting capability, too, but I just use the command line output and awk-parse what I need.

  • by NuclearCat ( 899738 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @10:24AM (#48278443) Journal
    It shows one more time, how retarded can be some politicians. Normal households have 40-200GB/month traffic, which is insane $24 - $124 extra per month. I hope Hungarians will kick him out for good.
    P.S. I am sure, if they can, they will tax even air for breathing.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Its already high, but think about 10 years down the road. I know in the US upgrading is slow, but in the last 10 years I went from a 12 GB limit to something closer to 300GB-1TB. In another 10 years, that 60 cents may be closer to 1000s of dollars per month.

    • by ADRA ( 37398 )

      "P.S. I am sure, if they can, they will tax even air for breathing."

      TANSTAAFL

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In a world where bandwidth has never been cheaper and companies and people make use of such. It is amazing to me that a government would think in any way by bringing those bandwidth costs back up to pre-who knows how long ago levels that this would only end in nothing but failure and screeching to a halt any company that'd want to setup shop, revolt by citizens etc. Strange world

    • If they want to kill the Internet in Hungary permanently, then by all means go ahead and find another way to do this, because that's what'll happen.
    • Politician: How can we tax them there internets?
      Aide: Uh, we tax Internet companies through the regular revenue tax and through the salary tax that their employees pay and we put VAT on anything ordered through a web store, just like we have for regular stores.
      Politician: Yeah, sure, but I mean I feel there's so much money being dowloaded in the Internet. Just this morning one of my staff members downloaded an internet from Facebook for hundreds of dollars. Seriously. Hundreds of dollars! I think it was a n

  • With so much video being streamed today even 1 cent would have brought in considerable revenue. While I wouldn't approve of a tax of even 1 cent, it is hard to imagine how they came up with such a high target tax rate. For many their tax bill would likely be 5x higher than their Netflix subscription. How did they possibly think this would fly? Even is you eschewed online video the amount of data just see the news on CNN inexoribly climbs higher and higher every year with all the video add bloat on the s

    • by bigpat ( 158134 )
      Taxes are also sometimes about influence, control, and information as much as revenue. If the motivation was simply to raise revenue then they picked an unnecessarily intrusive way to do it by taxing bandwidth instead of taxing as a percentage of the monthly bill or even imposing a flat tax fee.
  • It gets worse... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jodka ( 520060 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @10:45AM (#48278729)

    A proposed internet tax is the least of problems with Hungary's current government. Selected headlines from around the web:

    The Guardian: Hungary's rabid right is taking the country to a political abyss [theguardian.com]

    The Tablet: Meet Europe’s New Fascists [tabletmag.com]

    The Telegraph: Inside the far-Right stronghold where Hungarian Jews fear for the future [telegraph.co.uk]

    Aljazeera: Hungary: Towards the Abyss Investigating why critics of Hungary's authoritarian government believe it is leading the country towards fascism [aljazeera.com]

    The Tablet's, tagline is "A New Read on Jewish Life" and of course Aljazeera is Islamic. The Telegraph and Guardian are respectable British publications. They all agree that Hungary is leaning fascist.

     

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The Telegraph and Guardian are respectable British publications. They all agree that Hungary is leaning fascist.
      That word, you keep using it, I don't think means what you think it means. Seriously, the grauniad is anything but a respectable British publication. One should ask precisely why Hungary is heading towards fascism.
      • The Telegraph and Guardian are respectable British publications. They all agree that Hungary is leaning fascist.
        That word, you keep using it, I don't think means what you think it means. Seriously, the grauniad is anything but a respectable British publication. One should ask precisely why Hungary is heading towards fascism.

        So what is a respectable British newspaper? The Sun? The Daily Mail? ... Does such an animal even exist?

        -- just curious.

  • Ever notice how the taxers never acknowledge they shit a big one when they propose a particularly hideous tax and get called on it?

    This tax has been put "on hold", not burned, salted and buried in the deep grave as it deserves - and the sponsor disappear in disgrace from public life forever. The prime minister is unabashedly scheming how he can slip something else like it past the people as soon as possible.

    • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @11:03AM (#48278945)

      That's because government likes power, and money is basically instant power.

      The problem, is that government types are often so blinded by things like this, that they fail to comprehend how that money works in the market-- they aren't economists, they are inept managers looking to bolster personal powers.

      This happens in every government, of every kind.

      Hungary sees the internet, (Fuck, EVERY country sees the internet this way!) and sees a system saturated in untapped "Taxation potential". They don't realize that one of the big reasons WHY the internet is a powerhouse of economic activity, is BECAUSE it is not regulated by local and foreign tax control.

      Then you also have the "We can tax it, therefor we can regulate and control its use" power trippers. "I can control what people see, do, watch, and hear on the internet!" gives such people a very big boner indeed. Nothing says "I can shape your network use!" like a great big service fee, and nothing says "You will poison the well with my special sauce brand of misinformation when I tell you to!" like "Incentive tax breaks."

      A free, open, untaxed, unregulated internet is the antithesis of these people's desires. that's why they refuse to be sensible about this, and are FOCUSED on getting that control.

  • by smaddox ( 928261 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @11:10AM (#48279033)

    When you're a politician, everything looks like a tax source.

  • They could have made it so unaffordable it could have given them a chance at nationalizing it and restricting it the way good socialists countries always do. Hopefully Obama will do it though. All Hail Dear Leader.

  • And I'm not talking about Republican this time. I'm talking about the kind that Orban is. Basically, the political agenda he rides on is a simple one. It has to be so his target audience understands it. Find a scapegoat, blame him for everything, add some xenophobia and an external boogeyman, paint the other parties as corrupt and feeble (ok, that part was not THAT hard and is actually even not that far from the truth) and wrap it all in easy answers that any idiot can understand.

    The result is the Hungarian

  • every time the name of Hungary's dictator appears on Da ISH, charge him personally ten euros tax. that ought to settle matters.

  • by Wootery ( 1087023 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @12:36PM (#48280065)

    If I transfer a file over a direct ethernet/cat5e connection, between two devices which happen to also be connected to the Internet, I presume that doesn't count as taxable data-transfer.

    But it would be taxed if I sent it over the Internet, even if the data never went further than the ISP.

    What if we create large mesh-networks, such that commercial ISPs are only necessary for connecting meshes? As the meshes grow, the amount of tax to be paid tends toward zero.

  • by Skylinux ( 942824 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @01:53PM (#48280971) Homepage

    Orban has planned consultations over the next year to look for other ways to tax revenue generated over the internet.

    How come countries always double dip?
    I already pay income tax on every cent I make. Any other taxes are double, triple, ... dipping on already taxed money.

    I really hope I will see the day when we strangle politicians by their fucking neck ties.

Decaffeinated coffee? Just Say No.

Working...