During this period the press has functioned without restriction and changes have been made in the law that support press freedom. The government announced that it would send Congress a bill to solve various problems that were not addressed by Law 19,733 on freedom of opinion and information and the practice of journalism, which has been in effect since June 4, 2001. These concern protection of people’s privacy and honor, both under civil and criminal law, as well as the continuation of very important types of special protection for people with official status, such as contempt. Because of important considerations about the difficulties that a bill of this type would face in Congress, it was suggested that it be sent separately to Congress to eliminate the concept of contempt from the code To this end, the government drafted a bill that modifies various articles of the criminal and military justice codes. It was sent to the Chamber of Deputies August 26 (Bulletin 3048-07). The Chamber began consideration of it, and now it is in the Committee on the Constitution, Legislation and Justice, which has not yet begun to consider it. The message sent with the bill stated that “the concept of contempt still in effect in our country, which imposes criminal sanctions for speech that insults or offends a public official while conducting his work does not seem to constitute a legitimate restriction on freedom of thought, opinion or information…. There is no doubt that the continuation of these regulations in Chile has resulted in an unfounded privilege for certain people.” The bill would repeal Article 263 of the Criminal Code (which sanctions libel against the president, the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and the committees of both houses), eliminating the concept of contempt from the part concerning offenses and privacy. In June the president’s office announced a new communications policy restricting coverage to a few media outlets of visits to presidential sites. The National Press Association and the Journalists’ Colegio immediately objected, arguing that under the rule of law, authorities should ensure access to sources on an equal basis. The president immediately repealed the measure. In July, the president of the Chamber of Deputies established a system to regulate access to its facilities by journalists who were not permanently assigned to covering the legislature. This system required advance notice to the Chamber and prohibited access to certain places in the building, including the cafeteria. The National Journalists Association said such restrictions would jeopardize “the informative transparency of Congress” and threaten “freedom of information.” The Congress modified the regulation. Clara Szczaranski, president of the State Defense Council, sued Juan Pablo Illanes, an editor of El Mercurio, alleging that he had libeled her in an editorial published on November 28, 2001.During the year, many members of the newspaper’s editorial board were called to testify before the court. After that the plaintiff asked that other contributors to the paper also be called, but the court denied the request. The plaintiff appealed that decision and the case has not advanced further. On October 15, the assistant director of counterintelligence of the Chilean Air Force sued Alberto Luengo, editor of the newspaper La Nación, for libel allegedly committed in an article published October 13 concerning official acts by air force officers.