Civil liberties groups have lambasted the European Union (EU) over proposed modifications to its telecoms laws.
The campaigners maintain that the alterations would give too much power to the police to access personal information.
The proposed bill, due for a vote in the European Parliament on 29 May, is designed to safeguard personal electronic communications over the telephone and internet, and includes online purchasing protection and anti-spam legislation.
But civil liberties groups insist that that the bill is not clear enough on how much access authorities would have to personal information and how long they could store it.
A joint letter from 40 campaigners has warned that the bill could have "disastrous consequences" for the future of data protection within the EU.
The letter, sent to European Parliament president Pat Cox, calls for all data to be erased by operators after the period required for processes such as billing.
Governments are expected to defend the bill, however, arguing that since 11 September it has become necessary to access personal data to "fight terrorism".
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