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The Home Office wants sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo to store the information of groups and friends their members contact through the sites, which could then be stored in a central government database.
The proposals are an extension of plans already outlined by the government to store information on every phone call and email sent in the UK, as well as browsing habits.
Vernon Coaker, the Minister of State for policing, crime and security, told a Commons Committee that this now needs to be taken online.