ICANN Halts .Org Sale To Private Equity Group

ICANN Halts .Org Sale To Private Equity Group

ICANN Halts .Org Sale To Private Equity Group

Domain supervisor ICANN ‘withholds consent’ for the sale of the .org domain registry to a private equity firm, following months of protests

Internet supervisor ICANN has confirmed it is withholding ‘consent for a change of control of the Public Interest Registry (PIR).’

Arguments have been raged since November 2019, when it was revealed the current owner of the .org registry, the Internet Society, planned to sell the domain to newly formed equity group Ethos Capital for a $1bn endowment.

In December 2019, ICANN said it “does not have the authority” to act on the matter, since its role is only to “assure the continued operation of the .org domain”.

Consent withdrawn

The Internet Society, for its part, had said the sale of the .org registry would provide it with “sustainable funding” to continue its work on internet-related standards, education, access and policy.

But protesters of the deal including California’s Attorney General, warned that changes to the .org Registry Agreement could allow the registry’s owner to do significant harm to the global NGO sector, intentionally or not.

Also, many protestors were unhappy that Ethos Capital never fully disclosed who its directors or investors were.

And some of the world’s largest non-profit organisations, were worried their online addresses were going to be exploited for profit.

But now ICANN’s board has announced it decision to withhold consent for the sale.

“Today, the ICANN Board made the decision to reject the proposed change of control and entity conversion request that Public Interest Registry (PIR) submitted to ICANN,” it said.

“After completing extensive due diligence, the ICANN Board finds that withholding consent of the transfer of PIR from the Internet Society (ISOC) to Ethos Capital is reasonable, and the right thing to do,” it said.

The Board said that the proposed sale impacted one of the largest registries with more than 10.5 million domain names registered.

“After completing its evaluation, the ICANN Board finds that the public interest is better served in withholding consent as a result of various factors that create unacceptable uncertainty over the future of the third largest gTLD registry,” it said.

WhatsApp Rolls Out Eight-Person Group Video Calls

WhatsApp Rolls Out Eight-Person Group Video Calls

Blow to video conferencing systems? Latest version of WhatsApp allows for eight-person video calling, and it is encrypted

WhatsApp users on iOS and Android devices are being advised to update to the latest version of the messaging app to take advantage of a new feature.

The Facebook-owned unit officially rolled out eight-person video calls for iOS and Android users globally this week.

The move now makes WhatsApp a viable alternative to the usual video chat apps such as Zoom, Meet and Skype, and is an important development for those looking for group calling in order to stay in touch with friends and family during the global Coronavirus pandemic.

whatsapp mobile

Group Calling

WhatsApp announced the raising of the WhatsApp call participant limit in a blog post on the matter on Tuesday.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that many of us are isolated from friends and family,” said WhatsApp. “As a result, we see that people all over the world are turning to voice and video calling on WhatsApp more than ever before.”

“Group calling has been particularly useful and our users have asked to connect with more people at once,” the unit wrote. “Starting today, we’re doubling the number of participants you can have on a WhatsApp video or voice call from 4 to 8 people at a time.”

WhatsApp said that over the last month, people on average are spending over 15 billion minutes talking each day on WhatsApp calls, well above a typical day before the pandemic.

“And just like written messages, all those calls are protected with end-to-end encryption,” said WhatsApp. “We have built group calling in a way that makes it available for as many users as possible, including people on lower-end devices and slow network conditions.”

WhatsApp is also available on Facebook’s Portal devices, which “many users have told us has been a great way to share their living room with family during quarantine.”

In order to access the eight person group video callings, iOS and Android users will need to update to the latest version of WhatsApp.

To start a group video call chat, users should select ‘Calls’ from the bottom menu bar and click the call icon in the upper right corner of WhatsApp.

Tap ‘New Group Call’ above your contact list. Search or scroll through your contacts to add up to seven more call participants.

It is likely that the WhatsApp development will be a popular option for friends and families to stay in touch, whilst competitors such as Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom will remain the preferred option for larger virtual gatherings or work-related meetings.

Telegram update will include secure group video calls

Telegram update will include secure group video calls

Telegram has announced plans to introduce secure group video call functionality for all of its users in response to the global coronavirus lockdown.

The new feature was revealed by Telegram founder Pavel Durov in a blog post celebrating the messaging app passing 400 million users. There is no set date for when the update will be implemented, though Mr Durov said it would happen before the end of the year.

“The current global lockdown highlighted the need for a trusted video communication tool,” he wrote. “Video calls in 2020 are much like messaging in 2013. There are apps that are either secure or useable, but not both. We’d like to fix that, and we will focus on bringing you secure group video calls in 2020.”


Confinement measures aimed at stemming the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus have seen video chat apps like Zoom sore in popularity in recent months as people around the world have been forced to stay at home.

Privacy and security issues have plagued the app, prompting some organisations and government agencies to warn people against using it.

Since launching in 2013, Telegram has focussed heavily on privacy and was one of the first messaging apps to introduce end-to-end encryption.

It shares much of the same functionality and interface design as its more popular rival WhatsApp, which already supports group video calls. Group video calls in Facebook-owned WhatsApp were limited to four people at any one time, however a recent update means up to 50-people can now join them.

It is not yet clear how many people will be able to take part in group calls on Telegram and a spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other new features set to be introduced include an expanded Quiz Mode, as well as new incentives for people creating educational tests through the messaging app.

A crowd-sourcing initiative will see Telegram distribute €400,000 in prizes to creators of the tests, which can be built and published through the @QuizBot tool.

“With 2 billion students currently away from schools, the world is in dire need of online educational tools,” Mr Durov wrote in the blog post.

“We’d like to contribute to solving this problem by creating a database of educational tests for all subjects and levels.”

Telegram Video Calling: Telegram set to add group video calling - Latest News

Telegram Video Calling: Telegram set to add group video calling – Latest News

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How to Make WhatsApp Group Call to More Than Four People

How to Make WhatsApp Group Call to More Than Four People

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform across the globe and to remain at the top, the company keeps adding new features every now and then. Now, during the coronavirus outbreak, the company is adding features to help people in this global crisis.

WhatsApp has recently launched new features and changes to combat the fake news in this crucial situation. Such as the possibility to verify forwarded messages on the web and video status limit decreased to 15 seconds in India. Further, to help users in the lockdown, the company is now introducing changes to its group call.

Earlier, there was a limit of 4 participants in WhatsApp group calls and the company has been testing to add more participants in group calls. Now, WhatsApp has finally rolled out the possibility to add 8 participants in a group call (both voice and video). 

Also Read: How to Make WhatsApp Group Calls on Android, iPhone

This feature is currently rolling out to WhatsApp beta users on Android and iOS gradually. It might take some time for a wider rollout. Android beta users need to be on version 2.20.133, and iOS users need to install beta version 2.20.50.25.

How to get this feature?

You need to update your WhatsApp Android and iOS beta version to the most recent one in order to get this feature to call more than 4 people at once.

However, if you have already updated and don’t see it, you can reinstall WhatsApp. When you reinstall the app, the latest configurations from the server are downloaded and might enable the feature for you. Before uninstalling, make sure to back up your chat history.

Also Read: How to become a beta tester for WhatsApp

If you are not on the beta?

As the feature has been started rolling out for WhatsApp beta users only, it may take some time to make it to the stable version.

So, if you do not want to wait, here’s what you can do- You need to install the 2.20.133 Android beta APK file. For iOS, you can join the program via test flight.

Download APK

How to make a group call?

If you want to make a group call to more than 8 people, you have two ways:

i.) Open a group and tap on the ‘Call’ button. If the group has more than 4 participants, WhatsApp will ask which contacts you want to call. Otherwise, the call will directly start.

Source: WABetaInfo

Also, the group members that aren’t saved in your contacts won’t be added to the call.

ii.) Open the Calls tab on WhatsApp and tap on the video or voice call button. Now, select new group call and here you can select the contacts to add in a group call.

Note: Other participants of the group call also need to be on the same version, else they will not be added in the group call.

WhatsApp is gradually rolling out the update to all beta testers and in some time you all may receive it from the server.