Details of every single phone call you make, email you pen and website you have visited could soon be stored in a massive government database.

If plans get the go-ahead, ISPs and telecoms companies could soon have to hand over their records to the Home Office, which will be kept for 12 months, and will be accessible by authorities once permission has been granted by the courts.

The Government proposal is claimed to be necessary to help fight crime and, in particular, terrorism.

But opposition has already been raised not least by those concerned about the Government's ability to safely store such vast amounts of personal information.

As The Times reports, about 57 billion text messages were sent in Britain last year, while an estimated 3 billion emails are sent every day.

Jonathan Bamford, the assistant Information Commissioner, is opposing the plans just purely because of privacy problems: "This would give us serious concerns and may well be a step too far".

"We are not aware of any justification for the State to hold every UK citizen’s phone and internet records. We have real doubts that such a measure can be justified, or is proportionate or desirable."

"We have warned before that we are sleepwalking into a surveillance society. Holding large collections of data is always risky - the more data that is collected and stored, the bigger the problem when the data is lost, traded or stolen."

David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, also hit out at the plans: "Given [ministers’] appalling record at maintaining the integrity of databases holding people’s sensitive data, this could well be more of a threat to our security, than a support."

Telephone companies have been required to keep 12 months worth of records and texts since October but this is soon to be extended to ISPs.

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