Vladimir Putin Signs Bill Targeting International Media Outlets

Vladimir Putin Signs Bill Targeting International Media Outlets

Vladimir Putin Signs Bill Targeting International Media Outlets

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Saturday new measures designating global media outlets as foreign agents.

The bill is based on the 2012 law that forced NGOs to adopt a "foreign agent" label if they receive funding from overseas.

Putin authorized the law in direct response to the U.S. Department of Justice's insistence earlier this month that RT America register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), which requires the outlet to fork over sensitive financial information.

Voice of America and the Russia-based outlets run by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, all of which are funded by the USA government, will likely be the first US organizations to face the designation, as Russian lawmakers had already been threatening to do following the RT news.

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According to the USA intelligence community, RT's American channel is staffed, supervised, and financed by the Kremlin, and "has substantially expanded its repertoire of programming that highlights criticism of alleged United States shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties" in an effort to influence Americans. It's yet not clear if Russian Federation will target traditional USA news organizations as well. According to Reuters, Mr. Putin is also lashing back in part against the larger issue of the claims against Russian media for interfering with the US presidential election.

US intelligence officials have accused the Kremlin of using Russian media sources to interfere in the presidential election.

If they are required to register, the companies will have to say in their broadcasts and on their websites that they are foreign agents. As told by USA Today, under Putin's law, major networks such as CNN will be declared foreign agents and required to register in Russian Federation as such. Russian officials have went as far as to spin the Justice Department's requirement as an attack on free speech.

File Picture: U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam November 11, 2017.

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