· Home Office measure driven by EU directive
* Alan Travis, home affairs editor
* The Guardian,
* Wednesday August 13 2008
The Home Office says keeping communications data is vital in the fight against terrorism.
Local councils, health authorities and hundreds of other public bodies are to be given the power to access details of everyone's personal text, emails and internet use under Home Office proposals published yesterday.
Ministers want to make it mandatory for telephone and internet companies to keep details of all personal internet traffic for at least 12 months so it can be accessed for investigations into crime or other threats to public safety.
The Home Office last night admitted that the measure will mean companies have to store "a billion incidents of data exchange a day". As the measure is the result of an EU directive, the data will be made available to public investigators across Europe.