Skype Is Finally Getting End-To-End Encryption

Cesar Mills
January 12, 2018

Skype users will be able to have end-to-end encrypted Skype audio calls and text conversations, including the ability to upload multimedia files, using the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems.

There are of course also several purpose-built messaging apps with end-to-end encryption on the market already including Signal, Telegram, and Wickr. Private Conversations has end-to-end encryption, so users engaging in a conversation shouldn't worry about anyone possibly reading their messages remotely. The feature is available to anyone running the beta Skype Insider build (version 8.13.76.8) on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, or Linux. You can only participate in a private conversation from a single device at a time. Each private conversation's content will be hidden in both the chat list and from notifications for better privacy. Select End Conversation. If you want to start another Private Conversation with this person, you will need to send a new invitation.

Redmond has been a laggard in locking down Skype as a truly end-to-end encrypted comms system - end-to-end meaning only the people talking to each other can decrypt the chatter, leaving Microsoft and whoever may be eavesdropping on the connections in the dark. A lack of features and security kept Skype back and ultimately allowed other apps to take that space back. In order to use the feature, a user has to select the "New Private Conversation" option from the compose menu or from the recipient's profile. However, the end-to-end goes a step further than this by encrypting stored messages as well.

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There's no word as to when Microsoft expects to roll out end-to-end encryption to all Skype users.

The concern here for me is the fact that the feature is an opt-in one-you will have to enable it to have your conversation encrypted.

Instant messaging platforms are incredibly popular these days, as anyone who's used WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, or Facebook Messenger can tell you.

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