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Leaders in This Country Are Proposing the First-Ever Tax on This

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Thousands of demonstrators gather in Budapest Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014 to protest their government's planned Internet tax (Image source: Facebook/Százezren az internetadó ellen)\n

Thousands of Hungarian demonstrators took to the streets of Budapest Sunday to protest what could become the world's first Internet tax.

Proposed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the country plans to impose a tax of 150 forints (about $0.61) for every gigabyte of data transferred online. The extra revenue would be used to help pay down the country's inflated debt, which totaled nearly 80 percent of the country's gross domestic product last year.

Hungary's state secretary, Péter Banai, estimated the tax would generate about 20 billion forints (about $83 million) next year alone. And the country's economy minister, Mihály Varga, said the tax only makes sense as more people are now communicating over the Internet rather than by phone calls or text messages.

In 2011, the country levied a similar tax on calls and texts.

As opposition to the law continued to mount, Hungary's ruling political party, Fidesz, announced last week it would cap the tax at 700 ($2.87) forints per individual and 5,000 (20.54) forints per company. Despite the government's attempt at compromising, protesters turned to social media, creating the Facebook page, "100,000 Against the Internet Tax," which has garnered more than 218,00 "likes."

The 20,000 protesters assembled Sunday night outside the economy ministry building. They later marched to Heroes Square where Fidesz headquarters are, warning they would return if the government doesn't reverse its decision before Tuesday.

Watch as thousands of angry demonstrators crowd the streets during a night of intense protest:

(H/T: Gizmodo)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter 

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