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Skype has more than 300 million monthly users, making it one of the most popular chat platforms in the world. Now, they'll all be able to benefit from a crucial privacy protection: Microsoft announced Thursday that Skype will offer end-to-end encryption for audio calls, text, and multimedia messages through a feature called Private Conversations.
Skype will use the robust, open-source Signal Protocol to implement the encryption, which is set up so that only the devices sending and receiving communications in a conversation can hear or view them. Not even the servers they pass through can see the contents of end-to-end encrypted messages, assuming both parties are using the same service.
"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," Signal developer Joshua Lund wrote on Thursday.
In the mid-2000s, Skype was known as a secure and private option for online audio calls and chat, because it incorporated strong encryption and a decentralized peer-to-peer network. But in the early 2010s, after Microsoft purchased it, observers noticed changes in Skype's architecture, and privacy-conscious chatters began avoiding it over concerns that it may allow third-party and government wiretap surveillance.
'You still have to decide if you trust Microsoft with your metadata, but that’s a decision you have to make with every encrypted communications service.'
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