Viber, the mobile OTT Young Turk, has invaded the turf of Skype with 200 million users. Taking completely opposite route of Skype, the startup has now launched Viber 3 version desktop application with video calls. It will enable video calls for mobile followed by group videoconferencing in the future to cause further bleeding of Skype. Viber has also beefed up its Android and iOS apps, while introducing support for eight new languages (reaching a total of 27), the company said in a press release.
Meanwhile, Viber’s meteoric rise will further complicate the US government’s desperation to “wiretap people who communicate using the Internet rather than by traditional phone services.” The Obama administration is highly supportive to this revised plan of FBI, according to New York Times.
Still, the plan is likely to set off a debate over the future of the Internet if the White House submits it to Congress, according to lawyers for technology companies and advocates of Internet privacy and freedom.“I think the F.B.I.’s proposal would render Internet communications less secure and more vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves,” said Gregory T. Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It would also mean that innovators who want to avoid new and expensive mandates will take their innovations abroad and develop them there, where there aren’t the same mandates.”
Viber is a Cyprus-headquartered company and America cannot conquer its homeland. Uncle Sam can, however, legitimately sneak in if an American company burns couple of billion dollars to acquire Viber. Let’s wait and see.