Steven Aftergood: Foreign Agents Registration Act

Corruption, Government
Steven Aftergood

FOREIGN AGENTS REGISTRATION ACT

“In the wake of the 2016 election, concerns have been raised with respect to the legal regime governing foreign influence in domestic politics,” a new report from the Congressional Research Service notes. “The central law concerning the activities of the agents of foreign entities acting in the United States is the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).”

Significantly, that law does not prohibit “representation of foreign interests or limited distribution of foreign propaganda. Instead, the Act provides only for public disclosure of any such activities. FARA’s legislative history indicates that Congress believed such disclosure would best combat foreign influence by informing the American public of the actions taken and information distributed on behalf of foreign sources.” See The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA): A Legal Overview, December 4, 2017.