Police in our region are scrutinising people's emails and phone calls more than fifty times a day.
A report by the Information Commissioner revealed that forces in the North East and North Yorkshire tapped into communications data almost 20,000 times in 2013.
Detective Superintendent Lee Johnson, from Durham Police, told us the powers are needed to look for missing people and convict criminals.
More top news
Emma Jesson brings you Saturday night's forecast
Christmas Eve could be rather frosty and at present, Christmas Day looks like being cold and clear with one or two wintry showers
Police are appealing for the public's help to trace a missing Sunderland man.