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Skype launches end-to-end encryption for private conversations, but with strings attached

Skype launches end-to-end encrypted conversations for users on iOS, Android, Windows, Linux and Mac desktop.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Published: August 21, 2018 9:20:47 pm
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Skype has launched end-to-end encryption for its users on iOS, Android and desktop platforms. Following months of testing, Skype’s end-to-end encryption for private conversations has finally been enabled for users. Notably, Microsoft began rolling out the ‘Private Conversations’ feature to testers in January this year. The company back then mentioned that the encryption would work for calls and texts using Signal Protocol by Open Whisper Systems.

The feature is now made available for Skype users on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and Linux desktop. Skype earlier offered ‘some form’ of encryption, however, with the new feature conversations are now believed to be more secure since the messages can only be read by a sender and the recipient. Further, the feature will hide sensitive content in notifications and the chat list to prevent someone from eavesdropping.

Also Read: Microsoft releases Windows 10 Insider review Build 17704 with improved Edge, Skype and more

However, Skype’s Private Conversations feature comes with a few limitations. You can have only one private conversation on a device at a time. Further, users won’t be able to edit a message and previews of conversation won’t be revealed in chat list or notification, as per CNET report. To start a private conversation a user will have to select “New Private Conversation” from the compose menu or the recipient’s profile. The recipient once accept the invite, calls and messages will be available through the device and they will be encrypted end-to-end till it is ‘terminated.’

CNET notes that the private conversations invite will be valid for seven days. Users can switch conversations to another device, however, any message sent or received can be seen only on the device they would be using at that time. Skype’s Private Conversations feature is optional compared to other social platforms like WhatsApp that have default end-to-end encryption.

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