Russia's Putin signs 'foreign agents' media law

Russia's Putin signs 'foreign agents' media law

Kerry Wise
November 27, 2017

Vladimir Putin has signed into law measures that will allow authorities to list foreign media outlets as "foreign agents" that must brand their news and disclose funding sources.

US intelligence officials have accused the Kremlin of using Russian media organizations it finances to influence USA voters, and Washington has since required Russian state broadcaster RT to register a US -based affiliate company as a "foreign agent". State-owned Russian media made increasingly favorable comments about President-elect Trump as the 2016 U.S. general and primary election campaigns progressed while consistently offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton.

The law implies that media outlets classified as foreign agents will have to publish a notice that their materials are provided by a foreign agent, report on their activities, submit information about the composition of their management and provide expense reports. The US government forced them to registry as "foreign agents".

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USA authorities accused Russian media outlets of influencing public opinion during the 2016 presidential election by spreading fake news. RT's editor-in-chief visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in August 2013, where they discussed renewing his broadcast contract with RT, according to Russian and Western media. The media outlets so designated will be subject to the same restrictions and responsibilities now applied to against NGOs, or non-government organizations.

Radio stations Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, funded by the u.s. Congress, are the first media that have been notified by Moscow of a possible recording next under that name. "The clock is ticking".