Category Archives: Secrecy

FARA in Focus: What Can Russia’s Foreign Agent Law Tell Us About America’s?

In 2012, Russia passed its first-ever Foreign Agent Law, which western analysts described as an attempt to stymie civil society. Russia argued that it modeled its Law after the American Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Samuel Rebo describes how on their face the laws seem similar, while their implementation has differed. While Russia has actively used its Law, the US launched only a single criminal FARA prosecution from 1990 to 2010. However, since Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, DOJ prosecutors have brought more FARA cases (2016-2019) than they had in the past 50 years combined.

Comparing FARA to its Russian counterpart, Rebo notes that the Russian law contains significantly more substantive limitations on the functioning of “foreign agents” than does FARA. However, both laws are broad and can sweep in legitimate civil society groups. Thus, DOJ discretion is the main barrier stopping America from replicating Russia. Rebo argues that, given the First Amendment rights at stake, this reliance on the DOJ is insufficient, and Congress should amend FARA to narrow its breath and clarify its scope.

Full Court Press: Preventing Foreign Adversaries from Exfiltrating National Security Technologies Through Bankruptcy Proceedings

While an important part of US innovation and culture, bankruptcy proceedings have nonetheless become a unique avenue through which foreign adversaries are able to acquire sensitive US national security  technologies and intellectual property. Through a detailed analysis of the current gaps in federal regulations governing foreign investment and bankruptcy proceedings in the US, Camille Stewart provides the reader an in-depth look into exactly how foreign companies have been able to circumvent these US foreign investment regulations.

In raising awareness to an issue that could ultimately leave the United States vulnerable to destructive cyberattacks, Stewart argues that training and equipping bankruptcy judges to identify potential national security concerns in bankruptcy cases will help mitigate the exfiltration of national security-related information and technology.

A Review of “The Future of Foreign Intelligence: Privacy and Surveillance in a Digital Age” by Laura K. Donohue

Joel Brenner presents his critique of Professor Laura Donohue’s The Future of Foreign Intelligence, and its “full-throated denunciation of the entire legal framework regulating the government’s collection of data about American citizens and permanent residents.” He discusses her findings in detail, and in the end, finds that they both agree on a number of specific proposals, and “disagree profoundly on FISA’s rationale and constitutional limitations.”

A Review of “The Future of Foreign Intelligence: Privacy and Surveillance in a Digital Age” by Laura K. Donohue