Germany is planning a new law giving authorities the right to fingerprint children as young as 6, the interior minister said on Wednesday.That a nationwide decrease in the age from which fingerprinting children would be legal in Germany, was one of the measures taken this week at the Interior Ministers' Conference (IMK) in Dresden, which ended on Wednesday. Previously, children under 14 were not be allowed to undergo the procedure, but the ministers have now agreed to lower the limit to six.The measure was strongly advocated by Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann ahead of the meeting.”In Bavaria, we have abolished the age limit for surveillance,” he said in an interview earlier this month. “Normally, the domestic intelligence agency in Bavaria would not place children under surveillance. But if there is concrete evidence that a 12-year-old is with an Islamist group, we have to be able to monitor them, too.”He was apparently referring to an attempt by a 12-year-old boy to blow up a Christmas market in Ludwigshafen, Rhineland-Palatinate last December. The boy was reportedly radicalized by Islamist propaganda, but failed to cause any harm due to the poor design of the bomb he made.Ministers from central government and federal states said encrypted messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Signal, allow militants and criminals to evade traditional surveillance.”We can't allow there to be areas that are practically outside the law,” interior minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters in the eastern town of Dresden.Militant attacks in France, Britain and Germany have prompted European governments to tighten up on surveillance of suspected militants. Britain has proposed forcing messaging services to let authorities access encrypted communications.Among the options Germany is considering is “source telecom surveillance”, where authorities install software on phones to relay messages before they are encrypted. That is now illegal.Austria is also planning laws to make it easier to monitor encrypted messages as well as building out a linked network of cameras and other equipment to read vehicle licence plates.