That ruling came down Tuesday from U.S. District Court Judge Robin Rosenburg in West Palm Beach after the Department of Justice went after RM Broadcasting in Washington DC. The station was brokering airtime for Sputnik International and the government said that made RM a “publicity agent” and “information-service employee” for Rossiya Segodnya, the Russian Federation government-owned news agency.
WTOP reports that the owner of the station acknowledged selling airtime to Rossiya Segodnya and contends “this commercial transaction in no way created an agency relationship.”
The ruling is all part of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which was originally adopted by Congress in 1938 to combat Nazi propaganda. FARA requires those acting as agents for foreign powers to register with the U.S. government, disclose their relationships, and provide reports on financial activity. The law is now being used to shed a light on foreign governments and entities attempting to influence U.S. policy.