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New monitoring laws 'as soon as parliamentary time allows'

A Home Office spokesperson said: "As set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review we will legislate as soon as parliamentary time allows to ensure that the use of communications data is compatible with the Government's approach to civil liberties.”

They said it was "vital" police and security services could obtain communications data, including time, duration and dialling numbers of a phone call, or an email address, in certain circumstances.

But added this did not included the content of any phone call or e-mail and "and it is not the intention of Government to make changes to the existing legal basis for the interception of communications."