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Britain seeks data retention law for security

The British government has submitted security legislation to parliament. It would allow authorities access to communications data for counter-terrorism use.

Concerns are rising in Britain that terror could be carried out by young people inspired by Islamic extremism.

Earlier this month two 22-year-old Britons, arrested after returning from the Syrian war, told a court that they had been plotting a terror attack.

The British government presented the security legislation on Thursday. It would force telecom operators to retain customer data for a year so that police and intelligence services can trace information that is possibly terrorism-related.

Data to be stored would include mobile phone conversations, emails and other forms of communications, as well as when, where and by whom they took place.

The legislation would also allow police and intelligence agencies to intercept communications if necessary and approved by the government. The legislation is expected to become law as early as next week with support from major parties.

In April, the European Court of Justice, or the EU's top court, ruled that keeping communications records for 6 months or longer infringes on privacy and the right to protect personal information.

But Prime Minister David Cameron said the legislation is vital at a time of growing concern over Britons travelling to Iraq and Syria to join militant Islamist groups.

Jul. 10, 2014 - Updated 22:27 UTC