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The Unintended Consequences of FARA

  • 2103 Rayburn House Office Building (map)

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) has for decades sought to improve the transparency of actions taken on behalf of foreign governments within the United States. Yet, FARA has failed to document numerous actors domestically, while Russia and others have used its sweeping provisions to justify “foreign agent” laws in their own countries stigmatizing nonprofits that receive foreign funding.

Several bills introduced in Congress seek to strengthen enforcement of FARA. However, FARA’s provisions are so sweeping and vague that increased enforcement could capture a wide range of legitimate cross-border activities by nonprofit organizations. This expert briefing will explore possible fixes to better target FARA at home, while limiting the ability of autocrats to use it as a pretext for anti-democratic laws abroad.

  • Tom Susman, American Bar Association
  • Nick Robinson, International Center for Not for Profit Law (ICNL)
  • Melissa Hooper, Human Rights First

Sponsored by the Council on Foundations and the International Center for Not for Profit Law in cooperation with Representative Jamie Raskin