Internet service providers (ISPs) are unhappy with the government's plans to require them to store records of all e‑mail, social networking and web traffic.
The trade body representing the companies, the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA), has written to the Home Office over its plan to store all forms of communications data.
In a document seen by the Financial Times it says the proposals go "far beyond" the present rules for storing telephone data, and would have a "debilitating effect on companies given the costs".
The Home Office wants to hold the communications data because police say they need it to tackle terrorism and other serious crime.
It attempted to push through a government-controlled communications database which would have held data on phone calls, texts, e‑mail, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, Skype and some web-based computer games.
The Home Office dropped the plans after a flurry of privacy complaints, and now wants internet service providers to store the data instead. Under the new plans, which are currently under consultation, police would have access to the data.
The ISPA represents companies such as Google, Virgin, Ebay and BT. It said it was concerned about the operational burden the requirements would place on companies because of the huge volumes of data they would be expected to hold. It is also concerned about how such a large amount of data would be stored, and whether the requirements would be feasible. It also called the measures "intrusive".