A top representative of ISPs has denied claims by civil liberties group Statewatch that a document leaked to them contains vital evidence that the EU is about to make blanket data retention by ISPs and telcos compulsory for 12 to 24 months.

This means any European government would be able to access data about the source, destination and time of all personal emails.

Statewatch says that a “binding framework decision on the traffic and access for the law enforcement agencies” drafted by the Belgian government during its EU presidency has been leaked to them, proving the existence of Europe's proposals to monitor phone and email records for at least a year.

But Tim Snape, a council member of the EuroIspa (European Internet Services Providers Association) has refuted these claims and accused Statewatch of perpetrating a PR sting.

“There is no such draft framework decision and the Danish government [which now holds the EU presidency] has no plans to announce any such proposal,” he said. “We have spoken to representatives of the Danish presidency and there is no such draft framework on the table for discussion."

However Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, stands by his claims and refutes allegations that his report is a publicity stunt.

He says the draft framework has been in discussion since 1993, and that Tim Snape would not be privy to the proposals as it has only previously been in the hands of government officials.