Skype partnering w/ Signal for new 'Private Conversations' encrypted messaging feature

Doug Carpenter
January 12, 2018

As for Skype Insiders, you can start a Private Conversation by tapping the "+" icon, then selecting "New Private Conversation".

Skype had the potential to be what WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are now.

That changes today for Skype Insiders, who now have access to end-to-end encryption via the new Private Conversations feature.

Private Conversations will encrypt Skype audio calls and text messages.

Skype Insiders using Skype version for iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, or Windows Desktop can now access Private Conversations. The content of these conversations will be hidden in the chat list as well as in notifications to keep the information you share privately. End-to-end crypto ensures only each end of the conversation - the people talking to each other - can decipher messages.

Microsoft has not revealed when the feature will be implemented in the main Skype client, but it's safe to assume that it'll be at least a few weeks/months before all the kinks are ironed out.

Bear in mind that only a single device can be used with each conversation, the post said. However, the end-to-end goes a step further than this by encrypting stored messages as well. WhatsApp was one of the first major messaging apps to enable it two years ago, but a group of German researchers recently uncovered several potentially serious flaws in WhatsApp group messaging that could be exploited to add new members to the encrypted chat without authentication.

A Private Conversation will have a lock icon next to your contact's name. Encrypted conversations are locked to the device they are started on.

Skype is the latest messaging service to jump onto the end-to-end encryption bandwagon.

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

Once the contact has accepted, your Private Conversation will be available on that specific device. Having to do this every time on Skype would be more of headache than feature.

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