Fixing the FARA Mess

Published: March 2022

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) needs to be fixed. After the 2016 presidential election, there was a marked increase in concern about Russian and Chinese influence in U.S. politics, and many turned to FARA as a potential answer. The Act has provided needed transparency around lobbying by foreign governments, however, FARA’s notoriously sweeping provisions have increasingly interfered with the operations of nonprofits, businesses, media, religious institutions, universities, and others with limited or no connection to foreign governments in a manner that Congress never intended and that raises clear First Amendment concerns.

This Just Security article, authored by ICNL Senior Legal Advisor Nick Robinson, reviews the strengths of FARA and discusses potential options for improvements that will not violate the First Amendment. Please read the full article from Just Security here.

ICNL's work on the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)

Learn more about the issue and explore INCL’s analyses on FARA here.