Today, at 3AM, a new media bill was accepted here, in Hungary. It consists of these two ridiculous regulations effective 1st January:
- Basically, news about crimes can't take up more than 20% of the total amount of news in any news program in any kind of media. Which is just ludicrous
. What's next? Ministry of Happiness?
- Anything in any media can be reported by anyone on the grounds that it violated some hazy rule (the section which explains what can be regarded as a violation is deliberately ambiguous). Nationwide television and radio stations can be punished up to 200 million Hungarian Forints ($1 million ballpark) - any random person who owns a blog, writes down their opinion and gets reported by some moron can be punished up to 50 million Hungarian Forints (approx. $200.000)!
It's so clear that this bill was passed by the politicians to discourage people to express their opinion, because the government considers that dangerous/unwanted.
The saddest part is: we've been through this already
. From 1945 to 1989, Hungary was under a communist regime, so it was forbidden to openly criticize the government and/or its actions. What the fuck
are they thinking passing a bill like this in 2000 fuckin' 10?
My only hope is that this morning in reaction to these news, the main newspapers of the country have refused to lay down (more or less in unison), and that no matter what they try, they can't regulate the internet.
The intentions of this bill (and other recent actions by the hungarian government) are horrifying though. I don't want to live in a dictatorship - and no, I'm not exaggerating here, if things continue to happen this way, a full-blown dictatorship is not too far down the road (we're talking 2 or 3 years).
(I briefly considered to open this as an IJBM thread, but the situation is more serious than that)