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Microsoft encryption announcement a first step towards protecting privacy

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Responding to Microsoft’s announcement that it is rolling out a preview of end-to-end encryption for some Skype users, Joshua Franco, Head of Technology and Human Rights at Amnesty International, said:

“Today Microsoft has taken an important first step towards upholding its human rights responsibilities. Encryption is a vital tool for protecting internet users’ rights to privacy and freedom of expression, but Amnesty’s research has shown that an alarming number of companies are leaving users exposed.

“It is about time that Microsoft takes its users’ privacy seriously, and we are now calling on the company to roll out default end-to-end encryption for all Skype communications.

“Companies who don’t install full encryption are effectively handing the keys to cyber criminals and intrusive state surveillance agents. As more and more communications move online, it is up to companies to demonstrate they are on the side of human rights – the future of freedom of expression is partly in their hands.”

Background

In a blog post, Microsoft announced a limited introduction of optional end-to-end encryption for some Skype features including one-to-one audio and chat. It will initially be available only for Skype Insider users.

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