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EU wants ISPs and telcos to keep data for up to two years

Organisations could be forced to store e-mail and phone data for up to two years if European Union proposals become law.

Organisations could be forced to store e-mail and phone data for up to two years if European Union proposals become law.

The proposed rules, part of a European Union drive against cybercrime, state, "A period of a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24 months for the retention of traffic data is not disproportionate in view of the needs of criminal prosecutions."

The proposals threaten to reignite the controversy that surrounded the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, with ISPs and telcos complaining about the costs of storing data records and civil liberties groups complaining about the invasion of privacy.

At present, organisations only have to retain data for the time needed to compile bills.

The UK Government has said it would resist the proposed legislation, which will need approval from individual European Union governments.

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