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Millions of Britons who use social networking websites such as Facebook could have details of everyone they correspond with monitored by the Government.
Under the proposals, the Home Office is considering making the sites keep data about their users' movements.
These details may then be saved on a "Big Brother" database.
The Home Office said the idea was to tackle criminals and terrorists who might use the websites to communicate.
But it stressed the Government was not seeking the power to examine the content of messages sent via the sites.
Many people in Britain use social networking sites, like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo to keep in touch with their friends.
Civil liberties campaigners have called the proposals a "snooper's charter". Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake has serious concerns.
He told Sky News: "The key issue is what data are they going to be retaining? Are they going to be looking at which groups people belong to on Facebook or MySpace or Bebo?
"Are they going to look at what expressed interests people have? If the answer is yes then we should have real major privacy concerns."
He added: "We also need guarantees that organisations like local authorities will not be able to access this data for frivolous purposes.