Sci-tech

Skype starts testing new 'private conversations' with end-to-end encryption

Skype starts testing new 'private conversations' with end-to-end encryption

As first reported by ITPro, Skype is partnering with popular encrypted communication company Signal to bring end-to-end encryption to its service.

Microsoft competitors including Apple with iMessage, WhatsApp and Signal already provide built-in end-to-end encryption. This means users have maximum security when texting, sharing files and making voice or video calls. Skype sends the user an invite that's valid for seven days, and once accepted the Private Conversation starts like any other Skype call or message. You can become a Skype Insider to get access here. And it can only be used for one-on-one chats. For now, all of these conversations must be one-to-one, as no group messages are allowed. So, Skype will use industry standard Signal Protocol from Open Whisper Systems for end-to-end encryption.

Chose the contact you want to share a Private Conversation with.

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Microsoft also clarified that you can't edit a message or forward files within a Private Conversation. But this isn't the same as end-to-end encryption. Its development is headed by dreadlocked computer security guru Moxie Marlinspike at Whisper Systems, and the code is endorsed by the likes of Edward Snowden and Bruce Schneier.

You can drop us a line or two if you have had the opportunity of using the new end-to-end encryption launched by Microsoft.

Skype is rolling out a new feature soon.

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Skype denied the claims in a carefully worded memo, saying the changes were all about improving the quality of service and making it easier to roll out new applications. Now these conversations are limited to two people at a time. What it does is provide a venue for users to communicate privately in a chat that's protected from any type of surveillance or tampering.

As for Skype Insiders, you can start a Private Conversation by tapping the "+" icon, then selecting "New Private Conversation". The feature is made possible via Signal Protocol's encryption, though it isn't available to non-Insiders at this time.

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