Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Skype Private Conversations end-to-end encryption arrives for Insiders

Skype Private Conversations end-to-end encryption arrives for Insiders

"With Private Conversations, you can have end-to-end encrypted Skype audio calls and send text messages or files like images, audio, or videos, using the industry standard Signal Protocol by Open Whisper Systems", explained Skype Insider Program manager Ellen Kilbourne.

If you do start a Private Conversation, the contents of those chats will be hidden from the chat list and notifications will be turned off as well. However, the end-to-end goes a step further than this by encrypting stored messages as well. Microsoft is testing a new feature for Skype: end-to-end encrypted chat conversations.

After you're done talking, you can delete the Private Conversation if you believe it's not worth keeping. Skype on the other hand, has always been criticized for not being safe and willing to share your sensitive information with authorities if the need arises.

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Additionally, private conversations can only take place on the devices they're initiated from. "You can switch the conversation to any of your devices, but the messages you send and receive will be tied to the device you're using at the time".

Microsoft competitors including Apple with iMessage, WhatsApp and Signal already provide built-in end-to-end encryption.

The key difference between the new feature and its typical chats is that users must specifically accept invitations to private conversations.

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Select the contact you'd like to start the Private Conversation with. A lock icon will appear next to a contact's name to show that a conversation is encrypted. The feature is made possible via Signal Protocol's encryption, though it isn't available to non-Insiders at this time. Keep in mind that you won't be able to use the feature unless you're talking to another person also using a Skype Insider app.

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