HUFFINGTON POST
01/30/2017 03:48 pm ET

Viber Offers Free Calls To Countries Affected By Refugee, Travel Ban

“Those affected will now have one less barrier to cross when trying to reach their loved ones.”

Staying connected to those affected by President Donald Trump’s refugee and travel ban has gotten a little easier thanks to a mobile calling and messaging app.

Viber is offering free international calls between the U.S. and the seven countries affected by Trump’s executive order: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The company, which announced the indefinite offer Monday, ordinarily charges for calls to non-Viber numbers. Prices for calls to the seven countries range from 15 cents to 29 cents per minute, according to Viber’s website. Package rates are also available, and calls between Viber numbers are always free.

In a statement Monday, Viber said the offer comes with the hope that those affected by Trump’s executive order “will now have one less barrier to cross when trying to reach their loved ones.”

Viber stopped short of criticizing Trump’s order, which was signed by the president on Friday. But Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten, which acquired Viber several years ago, shared his heartache over the president’s actions on Twitter Sunday.

Viber’s offer comes as a growing list of business executives and companies, including Airbnb, have voiced disapproval of Trump’s order and offered to help those affected.

On Monday, hundreds of tech executives from New York City, including Airbnb, Uber, Lyft and AOL, added their names to a letter addressed to the president. (AOL owns The Huffington Post.)

Viber made headlines last year after it followed the WhatsApp app’s decision to provide end-to-end encryption to its users. That controversial feature ensures that no one other than the intended recipient, including Viber, is able to read a message’s content or hear a conversation.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

CONVERSATIONS