France and Germany want the power to access encrypted WhatsApp messages

The proposals have been criticised by privacy advocates...

France and Germany's ministers of the interior have issued fresh calls for laws to be amended to enable the decryption of digital communications to help criminal investigations and stop terror attacks.

At a joint press conference, they called for the European Commission to change EU rules to allow security agencies to access encrypted data.

They want their proposals to be discussed by the European Commission at a meeting in September. If they are successful this could affect the legality of end-to-end encryption in the EU.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Germany's Thomas de Maizière said that apps like WhatsApp which encrypt messages "constitute a challenge during investigations" - it wants the power to compel messaging services to "decrypt messages."

This is the same call that was made by the Brazillian government, which resulted in the service being temporarily suspended in the country.

WhatsApp's own T&C's note that metadata is still being collected, it says: "WhatsApp may retain date and time stamp information associated with successfully delivered messages and the mobile phone numbers involved in the messages, as well as any other information which WhatsApp is legally compelled to collect."

Security agencies in the US and across the EU say that end to end encryption on services like WhatsApp make it easier for terrorists and criminals to plan attacks - while privacy experts say that compromising these messaging services jeopardises the privacy and safety of users.

European Commission spokesperson Natasha Bertaud said, "Security is a national competence, but creating the right framework at EU level will help member states carry out their duty to protect our citizens."

Sherif Elsayed-Ali, head of technology and human rights at Amnesty International told The Verge that making these concessions to security agencies are "tantamount to a ban" on encrypted communication.