Prosecutions Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act: The Past, Present and FutureDecember 9, 2019
The Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), 22 U.S.C. §611, was enacted by Congress in response to fears that American citizens were secretly working to influence U.S. public opinion, policy and laws in favor of undisclosed foreign governments or political parties. In particular, lawmakers were concerned about the many Nazi propaganda agents in the United States who advocated for Hitler’s regime during the years before World War II. See General FARA Frequently Asked Questions, Justice.gov. The Supreme Court explained just a few years after FARA’s enactment that the “general purpose of the legislation was to identify agents of foreign principals who might engage in subversive acts or spreading foreign propaganda, and to require them to make public record of the nature of their employment.” Viereck v. United States, 318 U.S. 236, 241 (1943).
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