The European Union is looking at plans to increase government powers to snoop on personal communications.
According to leaked documents obtained by the civil liberties group Statewatch, the plans would compel telecommunications firms to store email and mobile phone logs for at least a year.
All traffic data would be held in central computer systems for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24.
The records would only be made available to law enforcement or security forces after judicial approval.
Statewatch editor Tony Bunyan told The Guardian that this action would mean a move from targeted police surveillance powers to "potentially universal surveillance".
But the EU has said that the move is "not disproportionate", and insists the powers are necessary to combat serious crime.
The only data collected would be the source, destination and time of all messages, not their contents, the EU said.
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