Users over skype sometimes do their private conversations and share some sensitive informations over chat. Skype was criticized many times for not having end-to-end encryption. Today, Skype announced end-to-end encrypted Private conversations. The new skype is known as Skype insider which is released for Windows, linux, MacOS, Android and iOS.
The announcement was made by Ellen Kilbourne, Support Engineer Microsoft in an article saying —
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. The content of these conversations will be hidden in the chat list as well as in notifications to keep the information you share private.
The end-to-end encryption in Skype is powered by Signal Protocol.
The Signal Protocol is a non-federated cryptographic protocol it was previously known as TextSecure Protocol that can be used to provide end-to-end encryption for voice calls, video calls, and instant messaging conversations. The protocol was developed by Open Whisper Systems in 2013 and was first introduced in the open source TextSecure app, which later became Signal.
Signal protocol is being used in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google and itself Signal messaging application.
Signal wrote in its blog post announcing this as growing list of Signal protocol user.
At Signal, our goal is to make private communication simple and ubiquitous. With hundreds of millions of active users, Skype is one of the most popular applications in the world, and we’re excited that Private Conversations in Skype will allow more users to take advantage of Signal Protocol’s strong encryption properties for secure communication.
For now, this is preview version and Skype insider user will be allowed to do private conversation with the insider user only. To start with the private conversation you need to select “New Private Conversation” from the compose menu or from the recipient’s profile.
After the recipient accepts your invite, all calls and messages in that conversation will be encrypted end-to-end until you choose to end it. You can only participate in a private conversation from a single device at a time. You can switch the conversation to any of your devices, but the messages you send and receive will be tied to the device you’re using at the time.
Still Microsoft is working on UX part of the private conversation invitation.