The world is still reeling from the shock of last Friday’s Executive Order by President Donald Trump that blocks citizens of 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least 3 months. The order’s execution by the US Customs and Border Protection agency has seen several people jetting into several airports in America from the 7 nations detained and some even deported.
The American tech community, a huge beneficiary of the talents of immigrants from some of the citizens of the blacklisted countries, has reacted angrily to the ban with several leaders from some of the world’s biggest tech companies, like Facebook, releasing statements condemning the ban while others like Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk are asking for suggestions to present to the President. Some, like Google co-founder Sergey Brin, personally came out to protest the travel ban.
Google cofounder Sergey Brin at SFO protest: "I'm here because I'm a refugee." (Photo from Matt Kang/Forbes) pic.twitter.com/GwhsSwDPLT
— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) January 29, 2017
Others, like AirBnB’s Brian Chesky are offering free housing to those stranded around the world as a result of the ban while others like Uber are promising to compensate their driver-partners from the affected countries who may not be able to make it to the States to resume their business operations in the 3-month period the ban is expected to last.
Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017
Our CEO's reaction to immigration order: "We'll compensate drivers impacted by the ban pro bono for next 3 months." https://t.co/meCT1ahEjH
— Uber (@Uber) January 29, 2017
Not to be left behind, Viber, an application which provides users with the ability to make calls over the internet (VOIP) using either their computers or mobile devices, is promising free calls from the US to Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, the 7 countries whose nationals are temporarily banned from entering the US.
The CEO of Rakuten Group, Hiroshi Mikitani, which owns Viber, promised to deliver the service earlier today and as of the time of writing this, it is already live.
Rakuten Group Viber will announce tomorrow free international calls from the US to all countries banned.
— 三木谷浩史 H. Mikitani (@hmikitani) January 30, 2017
We connect people – no matter where they’re from. Calls to any landline or mobile between 🇺🇸 and 🇱🇾 🇸🇩 🇸🇾 🇮🇶 🇮🇷 🇾🇪 🇸🇴are now free.
— Viber (@Viber) January 30, 2017
Viber, with over 800 million users worldwide, is one of the most popular apps that make it possible to make voice calls over the internet. Others include Microsoft’s Skype, the poster child of internet telephony services, Line, KakaoTalk and Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp.