ISPs told to store all users' e-mails for a year
The UK's internet service providers will from 15 March have to start collecting and storing details of all their customers' e-mail and other electronic communications for a year.
The measures are necessary to fulfil the terms of the European Data Retention Directive, the Home Office said today.
ISPs hope to recoup the estimated £75m cost of the scheme from the government.
Privacy advocates have called the government's proposals a massive potential invasion of privacy because theoretically the collected information will be available to some 500 central and local government bodies under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.
Local councils have been criticised for using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which was brought in to fight terrorism, for catching fly-tippers and other minor law-breakers.
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