A draft law (English translation) being proposed in Germany to enforce the European Mandatory Data Retention Directive of 2006 would require telcos, ISPs, and email service providers to track and retain data necessary to trace and identify the source, destination, date, time, duration, type, and communication device for any fixed network telephony, mobile telephony, Internet access, Internet e-mail and Internet telephony communication, and whatever location information was available for mobile communication. Retention of these records would required be for anywhere from six to 24 months.
As a result of inability or unwillingness to meet such requirements, Google has announced that if the law passes that they are considering withdrawing Gmail service from Germany.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has ain informative page on the EU data retention directive. I don't think those guys like audit trails ;-) In all seriousness, it appears that the trend the last couple of years is towards government-mandated audit trails for many kinds of commercial and communications activity.
A German court has ruled that a government web site may not retain IP addresses and other personally