Under new proposals, the UK government could monitor the contacts people make on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo.

The British government is already proposing monitoring all e-mails, phone calls, and Internet surfing by its citizens. The government is now looking to monitor social networking sites too, according to the BBC.

The U.K. Home Office said the move was necessary in order to combat crime gangs and terrorists who may use the sites, but said it would not keep the content of conversations.

A spokesman said the measure were necessary to ensure that we keep up with technological advances.

The government has no interest in the content of people's social network sites and this is not going to be part of our upcoming consultation.

We have been clear that the communications revolution has been rapid in this country and the way in which we collect communications data needs to change, so that law enforcement agencies can maintain their ability to tackle terrorism and gather evidence.

The Independent spoke to Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake about the database, which has been dubbed a 'snoopers' charter', and he is also wary of the government's plans: It is deeply worrying that they now intend to monitor social networking sites which contain very sensitive data like sexual orientation, religious beliefs and political views.

Meanwhile, Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer spoke to Znet and appeared to be unhappy with the plans and believes it's too excessive.

We think monitoring all user traffic is overkill. There is legislation to allow law enforcement access to traffic data [of suspects]. We are not convinced at this time that expansion of those channels is necessary.

He continued: One of the reasons that Facebook has been so successful is that it provides greater privacy controls than any other [social-networking service] on the internet.

Tens of millions of people use sites like Facebook, Bebo and MySpace to chat with friends, but ministers say they have no interest in the content of discussions - just who people have been talking to.