A New Cold War?
The Sources of Soviet Conduct
Political Ideas in the Twentieth Century
Atomic Weapons and American Policy
The Illusion of Disengagement
On Peaceful Coexistence
The Search for Stability
The Challenge of Change in the Soviet Bloc
The Practice of Partnership
The Framework of East-West Reconciliation
The Limits of Détente
After the Cold War
On Power: The Nature of Soviet Power
The Rise, Fall and Future of Détente
What Went Wrong With Arms Control?
Containment: 40 Years Later
Containment Then and Now
Beyond the Cold War
From Cold War Toward Trusting Peace
Toward the Post-Cold War World
America's Stake in the Soviet Future
Beyond Boris Yeltsin
Can Russia Change?
Russia Leaves the West
The Costs of Renewed Confrontation
Mission to Moscow
Why Authoritarian Stability Is a Myth
What Has Moscow Done?
Rebuilding U.S.-Russian Relations
Moscow's Modernization Dilemma
Is Russia Charting a New Foreign Policy?
The Dying Bear
Russia's Demographic Disaster
Managing the New Cold War
What Moscow and Washington Can Learn From the Last One
Russia's Perpetual Geopolitics
Putin Returns to the Historical Pattern
Putin's Foreign Policy
The Quest to Restore Russia’s Rightful Place
The Revival of the Russian Military
How Moscow Reloaded
Why Putin Took Crimea
The Gambler in the Kremlin
Trump and Russia
The Right Way to Manage Relations
Why New Russia Sanctions Won't Change Moscow's Behavior
Washington's Approach Lacks Clear Goals
The Kremlin's Latest Crackdown on Independent Media
Russia's New Foreign Agent Law in Context
Containing Russia, Again
An Adversary Attacked the United States—It’s Time to Respond
Putin's Past Explains Russia's Future
What to Expect After the Election
Has a New Cold War Really Begun?
Why the Term Shouldn't Apply to Today's Great-Power Tensions
On November 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law legislation allowing the Russian government to designate media organizations that receive funding from abroad as “foreign agents.” Russia’s Justice Ministry, the agency tasked with identifying the specific media outlets to be targeted, has already notified Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), both funded by the U.S. government, that they must register as foreign agents. The new law, however, is not limited to government-funded media: any organization receiving foreign funding or based outside of Russia could fall under the “foreign agent” classification. The New York Times, CNN, and European outlets could be targeted in the near future. The law also grants the Russian authorities an expansive mandate to block online content, including social media websites, whose activities are deemed “undesirable” or “extremist.”
Russia has framed the law as reciprocal retaliation for the U.S. Department of Justice’s requirement that RT America (formerly Russia Today), a Kremlin-funded and controlled TV channel and website operating in the United States, register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). (The requirement came after RT was singled out in a January 2017 unclassified U.S. intelligence report on Russian interference as the “Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.”) Yet this narrative is blatantly false. In reality, the law is part of a long-standing Kremlin project to muzzle independent media and civil society.
A DISTURBING PATTERN
Regardless of what RT or the Russian government may say, the Russian media law is in no way a proportionate response to RT’s registration under FARA. The United States’ legislation does not limit the activities of RT. Rather, it is a disclosure statute that requires the registered agent to reveal income from the foreign principal and allow the DOJ to inspect its business records when asked. RT is still free to continue publishing and disseminating content in the United States. There is no First Amendment conflict with FARA: RT has not and will not be
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