The British government says people who illegally download music and films could have their Internet connections cut off.
Treasury Minister Stephen Timms says the move would allow “swifter and more flexible measures” to clamp down on piracy.
The plans include blocking access to download sites and temporarily suspending users’ Internet accounts.
The announcement drew criticism from some groups, but those representing the music industry were pleased.
The Open Rights Group, which aims to raise awareness of digital rights, said any suspension would “restrict people’s fundamental right to freedom of expression.”
But the British Phonographic Industry called it helpful in the fight against piracy.