The Home Office has been planning a grab for new communications surveillance powers since 2006; today, the Draft Communications Data Bill established in legislative language their ambitions.
Yes, as they will point out, it isn't their the full scope of their ambitions. In 2008, under Labour, they proposed the idea of a vast centralised database of the nation's communications data. In 2009 they abandoned the idea of a central database. Since then, a new government has been elected, consisting of two political parties that opposed both the 2008 and 2009 versions. In the Coalition Agreement, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems promised: "We will end the storage of e-mail and internet records without good reason."
But that didn't work out so well. Today the government announced an enormous expansion of the communications surveillance regime, a project that will cost approximately £1.8bn over 10 years and is almost identical to Labour's 2009 proposals.