David Davis has claimed proposed plans to monitor emails, phone calls and websites will make existing surveillance legislation “60 million times worse”.
The former Conservative Home Secretary argued the new powers risked causing enormous resentment by allowing “unfettered” access to all forms of communication.
The Coalition is to revive plans first raised then shelved by the last Labour Government to track the activities of every Briton who uses a phone or the internet.
The proposals, to be unveiled in the Queen’s Speech, will see a huge expansion in the amount of data communication providers are required to keep for at least a year.
It will allow the police and intelligence officers to monitor who someone is in contact with or websites they visit, although the content of such communications will not be accessed.
Under new legislation, internet companies will be instructed to install hardware enabling GCHQ – the Government’s electronic “listening” agency – to examine “on demand” any phone call made, text message and email sent, and website accessed.