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<nettime> Blackout for Hungary
Michael Gurstein on Mon, 3 Jan 2011 19:22:36 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Blackout for Hungary


Blackout for Hungary

On the 21st of December the party holding the majority of the Hungarian
parliament voted in favor of a new media law that is a collection of some of
the most oppressive and undemocratic laws from all over Europe including
some worrying additions.

To show our concern for fundamental rights and free speech we black out our
online presence on the 5th January 2011 for 24 hours.

We ask everyone concerned about fundamental rights and free speech to black
out its online presence on the 5th January 2011 for 24 hours. To show your
outrage and solidarity with the Hungarian media please include this HTML
snippet into your site, this will automatically add similar black
splashscreen as seen on this site:


* * *

The Green Spider website and our LMV.hu community portal will be blacked out

* * *


Websites Black-out as Drastic Internet Censorship is Introduced in Hungary

Will the upcoming Hungarian Presidency of the EU attack the Net?

A new media law in Hungary creates a powerful censorship authority without
oversight and excessive powers under control of the governing party, which
endangers the freedom of speech, the Internet and journalism as a whole.
Citizens are called to black-out the Internet from the 5th January - when
Hungary is taking over the EU presidency on the 6th January 2011.

Budapest, January 2nd 2011 - The new Hungarian media law entered into force
on January the 1st 2011. This law enables the ruling party to gain control
of the Internet through the creation of a powerful censorship authority.
While destroying journalistic source protection the text also fails to
distinguish between different types of media, mixing online platforms and
traditional broadcasters and making them obey the same standards. The
Hungarian ruling party deliberately avoided public consultation on the new
media law. It is plain to see their will to control and censor the Internet
while bypassing democracy and suppressing dissent, opposition and

Concerned citizens' opinion is confirmed by the joint analysis of the
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, the Eötvös Károly Institute and the
Hungarian Helsinki Committee, who observe that

    "...the Bill will enact a compulsory registration system for all content
providers. The maximum amount of fines for national television broadcaster
is set to 200 million HUF, and to 25 million HUF1 for national printed and
online newspapers (including blogs with advertisements). The media authority
will have the power to suspend or even shut down Internet websites that does
not meet the requirements. The Bill will establish legal responsibility
beyond the press for intermediary providers. This shift would be in sharp
contrast with EU regulation. According to the original plans, decisions of
the authority may be subject to judicial review, but submitting a motion to
the court would not have any suspending effect as far as the execution of
sentences is concerned."

Hungary will take over the EU presidency on the 6th of January, while
various Member States are attempting to impose Internet censorship, amongst
widespread local and international protest about the new media legislation2.
As the "Child Protection" EU directive will attempt to sneakily impose
censorship of the Net, it is now very likely that the Hungarian Presidency
will participate in the global EU effort of censoring the Internet.

"All citizens, in Hungary and beyond, should react to this blatant attack
against the Internet! When the Hungarian government opens the box of Net
censorship, after the French and the Italian ones, it's all of EU should be
afraid. We must warn EU citizens and reject any scheme of Internet
censorship altogether!" conludes Vince Kovács, spokesperson of

Citizens of Blackout4Hungary call on everyone on the Hungarian Internet and
beyond, to oppose Internet censorship by displaying an image, or turning
their whole website black (examples and images are available on
blackout4hungary.net) from January the 5th.

1 Around 100 000 EUR
2 EU presses Hungary on media law
About blackout4hungary

blackout4hungary is a group of concerned internet citizens with strong ties
to Hungary and Freedom.

Best wishes,

Fidusz (FIDRICH Robert)
drotlevel:fidusz {AT} zpok.hu
#jabber/gtalk: fidusz {AT} jabber.hu
#skype: fidusz

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