In the world of technology, end-to-end encryption has become more important than ever before. Given our society’s tendency to use instant messaging and social media apps on a daily basis, the information we distribute should be encrypted at all times. Skype, one of the world’s most popular communication tools, is finally introducing end-to-end encryption. This is made possible thanks to Microsoft’s partnership with Signal.
Skype Finally Gets Proper Encryption
It is always interesting and worrisome to see how technology giants such as Microsoft still offer products which are not fully encrypted. Especially when it comes to Skype, there is no reason why all of the communication occurring over this platform shouldn’t be end-to-end encrypted right now. Thankfully, that situation will change for the better, with the help of Signal. This particular messaging app got a lot more popular ever since Edward Snowden inadvertently endorsed it a few months ago.
With Microsoft and Signal now (finally) working together, a more secure communications standard can be introduced. The goal is to use end-to-end encryption for all chat and audio messages as well as file transfers taking place through the Skype protocol. The only people who will be able to read the content of these files and messages are the sender and the recipient. This change will put a lot of people’s minds at ease regarding Microsoft potentially snooping on their Skype conversations.
Moreover, this new encryption should prevent assailants from intercepting messages as they pass through Microsoft’s servers. It is a welcome change that offers nothing but benefits to the users of the popular Skype service. This change should not have any impact on the service’s availability or ease of use. As it happens, Skype is a bit late to this party, as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram incorporated end-to-end encryption a while ago.
Do keep in mind that audio and video calls will not be subject to Skype’s end-to-end encryption as of right now. Instead, they will remain protected by traditional encryption, and there are no plans to introduce an upgraded standard for voice and video calls. It is unclear if that situation will ever change in the future, although there may not be a need for it right away. Then again, in this day and age, encrypting all data properly would still be a preferable course of action.
Microsoft has not announced a release date for the upgraded Skype client as of yet. Interested users can obtain the Skype Insider build for all major platforms, which should come with end-to-end encryption. However, it won’t work if two contacts use the same Skype insider build, which makes this a rather cumbersome way to go about things. The public version of Skype may come with an opt-in solution for end-to-end encryption, although that has not been officially confirmed.
It is evident the general public wants to keep their information safe from prying eyes. There are so many intermediaries involved with our data these days, it is only normal that the demand for end-to-end encryption is growing. With your ISP, government, and individual service provider all being able to access your data, a very worrisome situation is created. End-to-end encryption ensures that your ISP and government can’t snoop on your traffic, and that your service provider can’t check the contents of your data. It’s a more than welcome change in this day and age of online activity.