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Skype brains come up with encrypted messaging service

by on11 March 2016

Keeping the spooks out of everything

A group of former Skype technologists, backed by the co-founder of the messaging platform, come up with a new version of its own messaging service with end-to-end encryption for all conversations, including video.

Dubbed Wire, the outfit is a 50-person start-up mostly made up of engineers. Yesterday it announced that it was adding video calling to a package of private communications services that go beyond existing messaging providers.

Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Threema and Signal offer encryption on only parts of a message's journey or for a limited set of services.

Based in Switzerland, Wire stores user communications on its own computers, delivers privacy protections that are always on, even when callers use multiple devices, such as a phone or desktop PC simultaneously.

It would be a bit tricky for coppers who look for gaps in encryption to look into criminal or security investigations.
Wire Chief Technology Officer Alan Duric said in a statement:

"We believe Wire is unique in the industry with always-on encryption for all conversations, in groups or 1:1, with simultaneous support for multiple devices."

Wire launched the first version of its self-titled communications app late in 2014 to limited notice because it offered encrypted calling and text services similar to a dozen other apps, distinguished mainly by crystal-clear voice quality.

The app relies on standard, open-source encryption techniques, which allows outside technical experts to evaluate the security of its products rather than relying on trust.

Last modified on 11 March 2016
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