Business Technology

Tuesday 12 December 2017

'We connect people - no matter where they’re from' - Viber offers free calls to countries impacted by Trump immigration ban

The Viber logo
The Viber logo
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Members of the tech industry have been quite proactive in rallying against Donald Trump's 'immigration ban' - and Viber is one firm that is very much on board

The US Presdient's executive order bans immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days.

It also indefinitely suspends the entry of Syrian refugees into the US.

A number of high profile tech figures including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Tim Cook and Ireland's Collison Brothers have made their concerns - and their support - known on social media.

Now Viber has become the latest company to join the fight against the order - by offering free calls between the US and any of the seven affected countries.

Read more: Irish billionaire behind start up Stripe drives ACLU donation frenzy with $50,000 of his own

“In light of recent events in the US, we are now offering free calls to any landline or mobile number between the US and Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen so that those affected will now have one less barrier to cross when trying to reach their loved ones,” reads the company’s statement.

Over the weekend, civil liberties group American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) received over $24m in online donations - exceeding average annual donations by six times.

One of the Collison brothers behind Irish start-up Stripe, Patrick Collison, has inspired a number of other wealthy patrons in his generous pledge to the ACLU.

When he promised to match a total of $50,000 worth of online donations - asking followers to send snapshots of the online receipts - the public act sparked a domino effect among others in a position to do the same.

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