Skype adds Signal protocol powered 'Private Conversations'

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Open Whisper System makes the popular Signal Private Messenger app for iOS and Android, which gained notoriety when privacy advocate Edward Snowden named it his encrypted messenger of choice. However, it is possible for Microsoft to decrypt, or be forced to decrypt, this information.

For adding this feature, Microsoft has collaborated with Signal. End-to-end crypto ensures only each end of the conversation - the people talking to each other - can decipher messages. It's based on the Signal Protocol, which powers Skype's new end-to-end encrypted Private Conversations feature. 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.

Preview messages from Private Conversations will not show in Chats or notifications.

Skype is now being listed as one of the well-known messaging apps that use end-to-end encryption.

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.

Signal said it will continue to bring its open source protocol to other messaging platforms. Having to do this every time on Skype would be more of headache than feature. That doesn't mean this data can't be intercepted in other ways, of course, but it's still more secure than most methods of online chat. Dubbed "Private Conversations", this feature will enable Insiders to keep shared information private via end-to-end encryption.

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.

Separately, there was a flap earlier this week about hackers and spies being able to slip into Signal-protected WhatsApp group chats by compromising WhatsApp servers.

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