The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) plan, dated 21 August 2000, urges the Home Office to put legislation in place quickly.
Fast action is needed to ensure that data that might be needed by the police and intelligence services is not deleted by Internet service providers (ISPs).
NCIS notes that, although telecoms companies voluntarily hold records for up to a year, there is increasing regulatory and commercial pressure for them to delete anything no longer commercially needed - typically after three months. ISPs will often delete data after 24 hours.
The document estimates that a national communications database could be set up for an initial cost of £3m and £9m annual running costs - which industry claims is a gross underestimate.