Czech iGambling Laws Provoke Anonymous Attacks

New gambling laws introduced by the Czech Republic at the end of July has given the state the power to block illegal gambling sites, and paves the way for the government to authorize ISPs to block other ‘undesirable’ online sites. That is the judgement of left-wing hacker group, Anonymous, who after the law was passed announced Operation Blockade, stating:
“The Finance Ministry led by Andrej Babis gets almost limitless power to censor the internet. It is time to move against it.”
A few weeks later, and Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis has had two websites belonging to his business empire shut down by hackers, including that of his holding company, Agrofert. The sites were then down for around five minutes each, with Anonymous having now warned that future attacks would be on their way unless the new law was cancelled.
When Andrej Babis, the country’s second wealthiest man, ran in the Czech general elections in 2013 he promised to undertake sweeping reforms to tackle what he perceived to be widespread corruption, and tax fraud in the Central European state. Babis’ strong runner-up finish then allowed him to form a coalition government with the ruling Christian Democrat Party, with the billionaire subsequently appointed as the finance minister in 2014.
Amongst his controversial proposals is the placing of a massive 35% gross gaming revenue tax on online gaming companies, in addition to the 19% corporate tax rate already in place. Such a high rate would inevitable be unworkable for online gambling operators, meaning Czech citizens will be forced to continue visiting and spending an estimated $6 billion each year on the unlicensed black market sites.
In the meantime, Babis has tried to justify his draconian new regulations, stating; “We only want to apply rules used by 18 (European Union) countries already, nobody wants to censor the internet. It is aimed against gambling companies that do not pay taxes.”

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