Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
Britain said on Thursday it would rush through emergency legislation to force telecoms companies to retain the data of users for a year, saying the move was vital to protect national security following a decision by Europe's top court. Communication companies had been required to retain data for 12 months under a 2006 European Union directive which was thrown out by the European Court of Justice in April. The scrapping of the directive could deprive police and intelligence agencies of access to information about who customers contacted by phone, text or email, and where and when, the British government said. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the emergency legislation would restore this capability and enshrine it in law, ensuring investigations would not be hampered and giving protection to the telecom firms from possible legal challenges.