Anonymous Hackers Take Down Czech Billionaire Deputy PM’s Empire to Protest Gambling Law


Under #OpBlokada, Anonymous launched a massive DDoS attack last week, briefly shutting down company websites of the food and agriculture empire belonging to Andrej Babis. Babis is the Czech Republic’s billionaire deputy prime minister and finance minister, often called the Czech Donald Trump. The actions by Anonymous were to denounce a new law that gives the government the power to blacklist and block non-licensed gambling websites operating illegally in the Czech Republic.
Lupa.cz, a local news agency, reported that Czech and Slovakian hackers took it upon themselves toshut down Agrofert, Hyza, Cepro, Preol, Penam, Uniles, and Wotan Forest websites for five minutes on August 1st. Anonymous proved a point to Czech Republic’s second-richest man who they claim is targeting gambling websites for his alleged vested interest. New gambling laws introduced by the Czech Republic, Anonymous hacktivists believe it paves the way for the government to authorize ISPs to block other undesirable online websites:
“Once you have created a state blacklist, it’s an easier way to create other blacklists. The Finance Ministry led by Andrej Babis now gets an almost unlimited authority to censor the Internet. It is time to move against it.”
The attack is only the beginning. The hacktivists warned in a YouTube video, threatening to carry out more attacks in future if the lawmakers ignore their call for the cancellation of the controversial gambling law. It was also demanded the end of a planned online system for monitoring retail sales that the finance ministry is launching at the end of the year, reports Reuters.
Insisting that the proposed law tackles widespread corruption and tax fraud in the Central European state, a fuming Babis told Reuters he would file a criminal complaint over the cyber attacks.
“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.”
Babis’ online gaming regulations, approved by the Czech legislature by an emphatic 42-0 vote last month, seek to open up the market to foreign operators; however, its tax rates are unlikely to have many companies lining up to apply for licenses.
Among Babis’ controversial proposals to fight tax evasion in the country’s gambling industry 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. The regulations also include a provision that prevents online poker bets from exceeding 1,000 Czech Koruna ($40.98), while winnings in any specific game, including tournaments, are capped at 50,000 Czech Koruna ($2,049).

This, claims anonymous, makes it nonviable for online gambling operators to run their business efficiently. The new regime, the experts maintain, will be unworkable for online gambling operators who would have no choice but to shut the Czech Republic out of their operations in order to comply with the EU law. The repercussion will likely force Czech citizens to continue to bet an estimated $6 billion per year on the non-licensed illegal gambling websites, but not through the trusted ones.
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