DOJ To Russia Today: Register As A Foreign Agent Or Face Arrest

Congress is using a decades-old piece of legislation to force Russia Today to register as a foreign agent in the US, adding that if the site doesn’t comply with the order by Monday, the DOJ could move to shutter its operations and arrest its top executive, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.

Russia Today revealed Thursday that the Department of Justice has given the site until next week to comply with its new interpretation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). RT has been operating in the US since 2005.

While undoubtedly disappointing in terms of its implications for first amendment freedoms in the US, the DOJ’s declaration is hardly a surprise. Under pressure from lawmakers, Twitter last month said it would prohibit RT from buying paid ads on its platform.

The FARA was adopted in the US in 1938 to counter pro-Nazi agitation . Washington has decided to apply the act towards the company that supplies all services for RT America on its territory, including TV production and operations. Just over 400 entities are currently registered under the legislation, though that group doesn’t include a single media outlet.

RT revealed Thursday that the DOJ sent a letter to the company in September saying it is obligated to register under FARA due to the work it does for RT. Most alarmingly, the law demands the disclosure of the channel's confidential data, including the personal data of its staff.

The move "will have serious legal consequences"and "compromise the safety of [RT] employees," the Russian Foreign Ministry previously explained.

Simonyan said on Thursday that the timeframe provided for the company by the DOJ is a "cannibalistic deadline." She previously said that the channel was being forced into "conditions in which we cannot work" in the US, and called Washington's demand an attempt to "drive [RT] out of the country."

Simonyan had said the decision put freedom of speech in the US under question. RT has been under pressure for showing the American audience "a different point of view."

Senator Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of Russia’s Foreign Affairs Committee, told journalists on Thursday that the Department of Justice’s decision is “a dirty political game,” adding that particular Russian media has been “selected” by US lawmakers. The senator called the move “an obviously discriminatory measure.” He went on to point out that there are “dozens and even hundreds” of foreign media operating in the US, including TV channels financed by foreign states, but none of those have been targeted.

 

 

The decision has nothing to do with setting up due process, Kosachev said. It is rather aimed at media which broadcast content “inconvenient” for US authorities. This means sharing information on its foreign and domestic policies, he explained, calling the decision an “infringement of freedom of speech."

As we reported last week, Moscow has warned that a move to restrict RT’s operations in the US would be met with a “surprise” response regarding American media working in Russia. "If someone starts to fight dirty, perverting the law by using it as a tool to eradicate the TV station, every move aimed against the Russian media outlet would be repaid in kind," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

And it appears those measures could be unveiled as soon as next week to coincide with the registration deadline, according to a report from Russian newswire Interfax.

Of course, US interests have been operating the English-language Moscow Times in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, and other media outlets funded by foreign states - for example, Al Jazeera - haven’t faced these types of restrictions.
 

Comments

pods cheka Thu, 11/09/2017 - 12:25 Permalink

AIPAC, ADL, and any other pro Israel lobbying groups will never have to do that.As for this clusterfuck, I thought that the DOJ was part of the executive branch?  Doesn't Orange Jesus run the executive branch?  I always thought the president was the head of the executive branch.pods

In reply to by cheka

Manthong pods Thu, 11/09/2017 - 14:59 Permalink

 Sessions... get your f.ng 1st Amendment Act together....... or get the F out of our Constitutional government. ..the more I see what you do, the more I see something that reminds me of 1930's Germany. so... do the tens or hundreds of millions of US citizens  who have watched an RT Youtube or opened up an RT.com page complicit in some kind of plot? You    US .gov people are treading on very thin ice here.  watch your steps....   the water is icey cold  if you step through it 

In reply to by pods

AllBentOutOfShape YUNOSELL Thu, 11/09/2017 - 18:25 Permalink

And it's about to get crazier. This is one of the last remaining dominoes to fall before they start WW3.In the last few weeks alone... from the 7 US nuclear aircraft carriers deployed to the Korean peninsula - to Israel's largest ever air force drill with 8 other countries - to Israel's threat to expand their occupation in Syria past the Golan - to Saudi Arabia/Israel de facto declarations of war on Iran and Lebanon - to NATO readying EU civilian infrastructure for war - to RT being banned from America and possibly every other country after the US sets the precedent, I fear the final countdown has just begun.

In reply to by YUNOSELL

TheLastTrump chunga Thu, 11/09/2017 - 12:17 Permalink

Meanwhile, Hollywood & leftist Saudi Arabians are dropping like fucking FLIES.  Two of the largest sources of anti American & anti Trump money & propaganda. The same people that are responsible for fake news, 9/11 & radicals in US streets. It must be a fucking coincidence. These people are slowly cutting the legs off of the Deep State chair with Hilary & others standing on it with their heads in nooses.  If Sessions needs to do more Trump will call him on it- he just did a few days ago.

In reply to by chunga

biker_trash TheLastTrump Thu, 11/09/2017 - 13:51 Permalink

There is no left or right when it comes to foreign policy. The deep state is not one monolithic entity and its various crime syndicates fight each other for power. The Hollywood pukes are most likely being outed by Bannon and more power to him. The SA "leftists" as you call them were the crowd funding ISIS and actually in bed with the CIA/NEOCONS (your management). Its all just a distraction so the next war can start. Just stop with your left/right BS. 

In reply to by TheLastTrump

TheLastTrump Justin Case Thu, 11/09/2017 - 12:11 Permalink

It's the other way around. Russia, communists, radical Islamists like Iran, liberals, Nazi's are all in active coordinated opposition to the USA & the interests of freedom globally. You shitwads that think fingerpointing Jews is a good idea are the Nazi collaborators of the day like Soros the Swine.  “This reminds me of anti-Semitism,” Putin said. “The Jews are to blame for everything. An idiot cannot do anything himself, so the Jews are to blame. But we know what such attitudes lead to. They end with nothing good.” 

In reply to by Justin Case

11b40 TheLastTrump Thu, 11/09/2017 - 12:57 Permalink

Opposition to the USA?  Sounds like the way I feel about my own country today.  You say Russia is working in opposition, then use a Putin quote to justify the point you want to make.I thought the most radical Islamists were the Wahabbis, spreading terror and building radical Mosques all over the world.Who are the Semites, by the way?

In reply to by TheLastTrump

Justin Case TheLastTrump Thu, 11/09/2017 - 12:59 Permalink

Just because I criticize Jews and highlight inconvenient facts that make Jews uncomfortable does not mean that I "hate" all Jews. Most Jews, yourself included, view any sort of criticism of Jewry or any sort of independent analysis of various historical events as somehow "hateful" or "bigoted" - even "anti-Semitic." I find this weak, childish mindset to be totally contrary to my own personal intellectual outlook and worldview, and Western political and intellectual traditions historically.Criticizing Jews or anyone else - Blacks, Mexicans, illegal aliens, homosexuals, women, etc. - does not equate to "hatred" of the individual or collective group being criticized. This typical Jewish position is so weak, pathetic, and dishonorable I am finding it more and more difficult to tolerate.Grow up buddy. Stop whining and crying about my alleged "hatred" of Jews and objectively deal with the facts and perspectives I am presenting if you want to continue this dialogue.

In reply to by TheLastTrump

Consuelo Justin Case Thu, 11/09/2017 - 13:16 Permalink

  The knee-jerk anti-semitism canard is anything but weak and childish.   It is a carefully crafted response to keep hidden the true crimes committed against ethnic Russians, before, during and long after the 1917 take over.   And also to keep hidden the geographical lineage of who these people are and where they came from...

In reply to by Justin Case