Microsoft Finally Brings Encrypted Conversations to Skype

Microsoft Finally Brings Encrypted Conversations to Skype

Private conversations should roll out to non-Insiders in the coming weeks, though it's not clear yet when it will be available in the Skype UWP app.

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. In conjunction with Signal, the new encryption feature will make private conversation between users secure.

The company announced the experimental feature named "Private Conversations" in a blog post today.

Not all chats will be private with the option only available if you choose the recently added "New Private Conversation" option when you start a new chat. The conversation can be switched to any device being used at the time but the messages sent and received will be tied to the device being used at the time. This is the same end-to-end encryption protocol used by Facebook for WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and by Google for the Allo app.

Signal is an open source technology developer by Open Whisper Systems that prioritises privacy. Having to do this every time on Skype would be more of headache than feature. Many other chat services have offered this functionality for some time and further, they encrypt all chats not just one specific type of conversation. But nothing is full-proof secured in the online world so the data can still be accessed but it is a lot more secure than the normal security level. The comms biz was part of the NSA's PRISM surveillance network, which punted emails, chat logs, VoIP traffic, files transfers, and other private stuff at the American intelligence agency - and Microsoft was a founding member of PRISM back in 2007.

You will only be able to start private chats with other Skype Insiders running the latest version of the app during the preview.

One of the best features of WhatsApp has been its end-to-end encryption since day one.

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