What is FARA?
The Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, is a disclosure statute that requires entities acting in the U.S. as agents of foreign principals in a political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship.
FARA was signed into law in 1938 in order to more closely monitor groups that lobby for foreign interests, at the time specifically to counter the Nazi and Fascist threat. Since then, thousands of foreign groups have been registered and unregistered under the Justice Department’s administration of the act. The basic premise of the law is that any individual, partnership, or group that acts in the interests of a foreign entity must register their name, address, company, nationality, and, if necessary, their articles of co-partnership. They must also provide their intent, their organizational by-laws and constitution, the nature and extent of their dealings with foreign entities, copies of every agreement and contract with foreign entities, the details of financial dealings, statements of all activities performed, information on persons on whose behalf they act, details of their financial earnings and expenditures, details of all contracts and oral agreements made with foreign entities and other documents pertinent to national security.
- “CAIR and the Foreign Agents Registration Act”: A resource unique to the CAIR Observatory, our analysis chronicles CAIR’s numerous violations of the FARA statute from the origins of the organization in 1994 through the present day. The analysis is fully referenced with links to documents that are almost exclusively hosted or mirrored within the CAIR Observatory site itself, guaranteeing their fidelity and permanence.
- FARA History: The language of the original 1938 act focused on “subversive” political propaganda. In 1966 the act was amended to include a broader range of foreign-sponsored activities, including both political and economic interests, whether or not those activities were necessarily “subversive.” After the passage of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, lobbyists representing foreign economic interests were required to register under that act rather than FARA. Thus, as of 2010 FARA covers the activities of U.S. entities acting in the political interests of any foreign principal.
- Are non-profit corporations required to register under FARA? Yes.