The mandatory data retention regime currently being considered by the Federal Government could increase internet costs by up to $130 per customer each year, Perth-based internet provider iiNet claims.

Speaking at a Senate hearing into a revision of telecommunications law in Canberra yesterday, iiNet chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby said with the time and cost used to store "metadata" - which includes the 200 million emails a day iiNet servers dealt with - meant a growing cost increase was inevitable.

The company has been increasingly vocal over the as yet confidential moves by the Federal Government to look at a mandatory data retention scheme, which Attorney-General George Brandis revealed is under consideration.

In theory the scheme involves storing information from internet and phone users which can reveal locations, call and email details and where they used services.

Mr Dalby said iiNet should not be forced to collect, store or match personal information on behalf of third parties.

In his submission, Mr Dalby called for greater clarity from the Government.

"A definitive statement outlining the government's requirements would reduce the uncertainty and enable us to more meaningfully respond to any proposed data retention regime," Mr Dalby said.

"The communications industry and broader community does not know whether the government is only looking for the data already collected routinely by telephone companies, or is actually seeking the full set of data as set out in their (as-yet confidential) briefing paper."

The West Australian

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