Lives will be saved by new internet powers allowing security services and police to snoop on emails, web visits and social networking sites, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.
Under the proposals, internet providers and other information service providers will be required to retain records of all communications, to which police and security services will have access, for 12 months.
The powers will help to tackle serious organised crime and help police track paedophiles, terrorists and criminals, she told The Sun.
She said: "People who say they are against this bill need to look victims of serious crime, terrorism and child sex offences in the eye and tell them why they're not prepared to give the police the powers they need to protect the public.
"Anybody who is against this bill is putting politics before people's lives.
"We would certainly see criminals going free as a result of this."
She added that the bill is not a "snoopers' charter".
"It is absolutely not government wanting to read everybody's emails - we will not be looking at every web page everybody has looked at."
Police, the security services, the new National Crime Agency and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will be able to access the data, but the draft Communications Data Bill also gives the Home Secretary the power to extend access to others, such as the UKBA.
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