Russia has taken the first steps in cracking down on U.S. media outlets Tuesday, after the country’s lower house of Parliament passed an amendment forcing certain companies to register as foreign agents.
Any outlet receiving funding from abroad would fit the standard, but the measure must first pass in the upper house and then be signed by President Vladimir Putin before it takes effect, CNNMoney reported Wednesday.
This comes in response to the U.S. Department of Justice singling out the television network “Russia Today” (RT), and requiring the Russian-funded operation to register as a foreign agent.
There are no specifics on what media outlets would be affected by the new Russian regulation, but any group designated as a foreign agent would be made to disclose funding and preempt programming with a disclaimer showing the new status.
RT America was targeted by the DOJ for their possible role in influencing the 2016 presidential election, although there is currently no evidence to support such a charge.
“Between the criminal case and the registration we chose the latter, and we congratulate the American freedom of speech and everyone who still believes in it,” RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said.
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