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posted by Fnord666 on Friday January 12, @04:41PM   Printer-friendly
from the in-band-signaling dept.

Skype finally getting end-to-end encryption

Since its inception, Skype has been notable for its secretive, proprietary algorithm. It's also long had a complicated relationship with encryption: encryption is used by the Skype protocol, but the service has never been clear exactly how that encryption was implemented or exactly which privacy and security features it offers.

That changes today in a big way. The newest Skype preview now supports the Signal protocol: the end-to-end encrypted protocol already used by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Allo, and, of course, Signal. Skype Private Conversations will support text, audio calls, and file transfers, with end-to-end encryption that Microsoft, Signal, and, it's believed, law enforcement agencies cannot eavesdrop on.

Presently, Private Conversations are only available in the Insider builds of Skype.

Also at The Register, The Verge, and Wired.


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  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday January 12, @06:28PM (3 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 12, @06:28PM (#621476)

    You mean that Microsoft can actually add potentially useful features to skype, instead of just pushing go-ugly hide-functionality non-backwards-compatible updates every other week ?

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Friday January 12, @07:43PM (2 children)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12, @07:43PM (#621507) Journal

    No, I'm sure it doesn't mean that at all.

    • What is end-to-end encryption? (Really)
    • End to Microsoft Server, then server to other end?
    • Are end-user specified encryption keys used?
    • Is there more than one key involved in the encryption layer?
    • Is there forced encryption downgrade/compromise for CALEA [wikipedia.org] purposes?

    Microsoft has systematically added full-take capabilities for any account printed on a warrant. They have systematically built in compromise capabilities into skype the minute they bought it from Ebay (who were only too happy to get rid of it due to federal meddling and demands) .

    Contrary to the story, the encryption capabilities of the pre-ebay skype were fully known. (Reverse engineered). They were never perfect. But because session routing was never stable and predictable in advance, this didn't matter so much.

    Microsoft now forced all call setup through its own servers [cnn.com]. (The actual call session may be routed client to client unless some three letter agency has a warrant (or a wish) in which case its all routed via a Microsoft servers. Dozens of little changes [microsoft.com] creep in each year. As of 2015, and the arrival of Skype for Business, there is must about nothing left of the original skype except the ring-tones.

    Skype departed ALL my devices the day Microsoft bought them.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @07:57PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @07:57PM (#621521)

      maybe it means that it was the end of the encryption from point to point and the only thing left is that we still use it so they say marketing things?

      i agree with everything you said. my mom doesn't care though. and i am a bad kid for not talking to her with it because I have something wrong if I am afraid of that.

      i feel like will smith sometimes

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @09:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @09:36PM (#621572)

        i feel like will smith sometimes

        You made your son into a weirdo.