To increase revenue, the Lebanese government proposed a measure that taxed the use of services with VoIP technology, such as calls from WhatsApp, Skype or FaceTime. However, the population revolted, made a big protest and the country gave up the collection on the same day of the announcement.
The measure proposed by the Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications would levy a tax in the amount of 20 Lebanese pounds cents – about R $ 0.83 – per day of using VoIP service.
Lebanese met at the government headquarters in Beirut and blocked roads with barricades of burnt tires. As the Reuters, the protest is very reminiscent of the 2013 demonstrations in São Paulo against the R $ 0.20 increase in bus fares.
The police fired tear gas bombs at the protesters. Schools were closed by order of the government, and even after the cancellation of the charge, the climate is still tense in Lebanon, where the population is unhappy with politics and the economic crisis.
In some countries, VoIP services are prohibited by law. This is the case of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Libya and other countries in the Middle East.
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