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Government to snoop on Facebook users

Social networking activities may be included in super database

The Government could be allowed to monitor the messages you send on social networking sites such as Facebook, it has been revealed.

Under the EU's Data Retention Directive, ISPs are already required to store information about emails sent and received for one year but the content of the emails is not currently documented.

However, Vernon Coaker, Minister of State for policing, crime and security said this directive does not go far enough.

"Social-networking sites, such as MySpace or Bebo are not covered by the directive."

Coaker's proposal would see social networking activities documented in a super database that will also hold details of every telephone conversation, text message, email and online movements of residents of the UK.

"I accept this is an extremely difficult area. The interface between retaining data, private security and all such issues of privacy is extremely important."

However, the Home Office has denied the proposals will cover social networking sites.

"The Government has no interest in the content of people's social network sites and this is not going to be part of our forthcoming consultation," a spokesman told the Telegraph.

"To ensure that we keep up with technological advances we intend to consult widely on proposals shortly. We have been very clear that there are no plans for a database containing the content of emails, texts, conversations or social networking sites."

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