Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today ditched plans for a giant Government database tracking all emails, phone calls and internet activity.
Ms Smith said a central store of electronic data was an "extreme" solution and would have undermined privacy.
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: "I am pleased that the Government has climbed down from the 'Big Brother' plan for a centralised database of all our emails and phone calls.
"However, any legislation that requires individual communications providers to keep data on who called whom and when will need strong safeguards on access."
"It is simply not that easy to separate the bare details of a call from its content. What if a leading business person is ringing Alcoholics Anonymous, or a politician's partner is arranging to hire a porn video?"