US Congress forces Qatari, other foreign media to register as agents

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US Congress recently approved new legislation that would force foreign-owned media organizations such as Qatar's Al Jazeera to register as a foreign agent under U.S. law.

The legislation, included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, would mandate that foreign-owned media organizations register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, a move that would shine greater sunlight on these organizations' ties to foreign governments, according to Washington Free Beacon.

Congressional officials touted the new legislation as part of larger efforts to force foreign-owned media outlets to disclose their agendas and admit their close ties to foreign governments.

Proponents of the legislation said that media outlets such as Qatar’s Al Jazeera, Russia's RT America and China Central Television have tried to hide their agenda behind the guise of objective journalism, according to the report.

It added that Al Jazeera, for instance, recently faced intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill for running a secret, months-long spy operation on American Jewish activists and their allies in Congress on order from the Qatari government.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.), and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.) petitioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March to launch an investigation into Al Jazeera, it added.

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