The records of every email, text and phone call will soon be kept to facilitate criminal investigations.
New laws will be published today obliging internet service providers to store data of email and website activity for a year.
All phone and text traffic from everyone in the country will also be stored for a two-year period.
The Gardaí, the army and the Revenue Commissioners can access the information as part of investigations into serious crime.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern says it will be well monitored.
“It’s very important that the police are able to insist that the data be retained by the Internet companies so that they can prove cases against these people who peddle child porn,” Mr Ahern told RTE radio today as he published the Communications (Retention of Data) Bill.
The Bill implements an EU directive which brings Ireland into line with other EU member states.