Registering Under FARA 'Does Not Inhibit Freedom of Expression' – Justice Dept.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente announced today that T&R Productions, LLC (T&R), a Washington, D.C., corporation, has registered with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as an agent for ANO TV-Novosti, the Russian government entity responsible for the worldwide broadcasts of the RT Network (RT), the press release said.

The Justice Department is now reviewing the filings from T&R Productions for sufficiency.

The press release pointed out that registering under FARA “does not limit publishing of materials or viewpoints; it requires only registration, labeling of informational materials and broadcasts, and recordkeeping.”

“FARA does not inhibit freedom of expression, does not restrict the content of information disseminated, does not restrict an agent’s lobbying or publication of information or advocacy,” it added.

The act was originally passed by Congress in 1938 due to concerns about German propaganda agents in the United States before World War II. Several foreign broadcasters are currently registered under FARA, including Canada’s CBC, Japan’s NHK and China Daily. However, many other state-funded foreign media, including France24, the Chinese broadcaster CCTV, and the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, are operating in the United States without having to register under FARA.

Amid increased pressure on RT America by US authorities over the alleged interference in the US elections, the US Department of Justice demanded last week the broadcaster’s registration under FARA until Monday, November 13, with Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan calling the deadline “cannibalistic.”

“Between a criminal case and registration we chose the latter, which we congratulate the American freedom of speech and all those who still believe in it on,” Simonyan said on Twitter.    

Under FARA, RT America will have to provide the US authorities with the contact details and salary information along with other internal data. The registration will also make the arrangement of interviews and the work of the broadcaster in general more complicated.    

© Sputnik/ Evgeny Biyatov

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