MEPs back contested telecoms plan
European politicians have voted in favour of amendments to telecoms law which campaigners say could be used to curb privacy online and file-sharing.
Digital rights groups in Europe have formed a loose coalition to highlight their opposition to the amendments.
But MEPs have denied that the amendments are aimed at throwing file-sharers off the net.
MEP Malcolm Harbour, who helped oversee the so-called Telecoms Package, said it was "about improving users' rights".
"There has been a great deal of dismay in the committee at the interpretation being put on these amendments," he told BBC News.
"They have nothing to do with copyright enforcement. The interpretation of them is alarmist and scare-mongering and deflects from the intention which was to improve consumers' rights," he said.
But campaigners say one of the amendments - which could allow governments to decide which software can be used on the web - makes it easier to enforce the controversial "three strikes" law which the music industry is keen to use in order to clamp down on file-sharers.