In 1275 the English law, "De Scandalis Magnatum", prohibited the distribution of "any false News or Tales, whereby discord, or occasion of discord or slander may grow between the King and his People, or the Great Men of the Realm." [3 Edw. 1, ch. 34 (1275)]. Although this might at first sound like a reasonable way of protecting officials from slander, in fact, the application of 'De Scandalis' established the principle that even those who made negative comments about the King or government could be called before a select group of officials without need for any warrant or other legal proceeding even if the comments were truthful. Known as the Star Chamber [since 1422] because of the decor of the room in which they held their proceedings, this tribunal had the power to confer any punishment they pleased for the crime of 'endangering the public peace' by criticizing a monarch or other official" (http://www1.assumption.edu/ahc/1770s/ppressfree.html, accessed 01-04-2010).