Microsoft Partners Signal to Give Skype End-to-End Encryption

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Microsoft Partners Signal to Give Skype End-to-End Encryption

Highlights

  • Private Conversations is currently available for Skype Insiders
  • Encrypted chats can be sent to other users on the same Insider build
  • An invite needs to be sent to contacts to initiate Private Conversations

Skype is joining the ranks of Facebook Messenger, Google Allo, and WhatsApp by integrating the open source Signal Protocol for end-to-end encryption into its messaging platform. Microsoft-owned Skype will get a new Private Conversations feature. This feature will be powered by the Signal Protocol, and is now available in preview for Skype Insiders. Private Conversations will currently be rolled out only to Skype Insiders on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Additionally, the end-to-end encryption covers chats, files/ documents, and audio messages, and not audio or video calls. It is not available for groups.

As we mentioned, Microsoft is partnering with Signal to incorporate Signal Protocol in Skype. A new feature, Private Conversations, will soon be available with Signal's end-to-end encryption last seen on Secret Conversations on Facebook Messenger, Allo Incognito Chat on Google Allo, WhatsApp, and Signal's own messaging app.

The feature will initiate encrypted private chats only with other users on the Insider build, according to a report by The Verge.

To start a Skype Private Conversation, users need to click the '+' icon. Select Private Conversation from the options and choose the contact that you wish to start encrypted chats with. An invite will be sent to the chosen contact, and they will have a 7-day window to accept it. If not accepted within the time frame, you will have to send out another invite.

Once the contact accepts the invite, a Skype Private Conversation will become active on the device used to invite the particular contact. Another invite will have to be sent if you choose to change devices.

Deleting a Skype Private Conversation chat window works the same as any other regular chat; right click on desktop/ tap and hold on mobile will display the Delete Chat option. Restarting a Private Conversation with the same contact will recover the previous messages. Notably, features like editing a message or file forwarding are currently not available on Private Conversations.

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