Tarun Krishnakumar

Tarun Krishnakumar

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

July 29, 2021

Towards Global Best Practices for Regulating Foreign Influence

by Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

This Issue Brief aims to take the first steps to contribute to the fledgling
discourse by highlighting key policy questions that the proliferation of transparency-based responses to foreign influence campaigns raise and will raise. In particular, the focus will be on issues that they must seek to resolve in order to offer balanced but effective outcomes in the modern democratic context.

Towards Global Best Practices for Regulating Foreign Influence
ISSUE BRIEF
June 24, 2021

What the COVID-19 Pandemic has Meant for Foreign Influence

by Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

This brief aims to add to the discourse by, for the first time, studying how foreign influence and lobbying activities have interplayed with the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, this brief aims to conduct a preliminary survey of how the scale of these activities have been affected by the pandemic and how substantive issues around the pandemic have become the subject, object, or channel of foreign influence activities. By doing so, this brief aims to throw light on how the pandemic has interplayed with important themes around public health, global inequality, as well as the practice of lobbying and influence bartering. It aims to serve as a foundation for future research around these themes.

What the COVID-19 Pandemic has Meant for Foreign Influence
ISSUE BRIEF
April 14, 2021

Recent Proposals to Amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act: A Survey

by Ben Freeman, Brian Steiner, and Tarun Krishnakumar

This Policy Brief surveys recent proposals to amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act to identify key trends and areas of focus.

Recent Proposals to Amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act: A Survey

LATEST NEWS

July 12, 2021

Is Canada’s first proposed foreign influence legislation ruthless or toothless?

by Tarun Krishnakumar

As the world continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19, Canadian security services have flagged a pandemic of a different kind: that of hostile states conducting malign influence and interference campaigns targeting individuals and institutions on Canadian soil.

March 31, 2021

In Absence of Foreign Agents Registration Reform, DOJ Tweaks Could Make a Big Difference

by Tarun Krishnakumar

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) framework has assumed elevated importance in recent years with revelations of foreign interference in U.S. democratic processes. Despite this, its core obligations have not been comprehensively updated since the 1960s, even though more than 40 proposals have been introduced in Congress since 2016. Pending broader legislative improvements, the Department of Justice (DOJ) should explore and consider evidence-led tweaks at the executive level to address key shortcomings in the framework.

June 3, 2021

Propaganda by Permission: Examining "Political Activities" Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act

by Tarun Krishnakumar

After providing a background to FARA, this Article studies this issue first, by seeking to draw out the background, development, and surprisingly ambiguous legal standards that disclosures of agents’ “political activities” must adhere to. Second, based on an survey of a sample set of filings made under FARA, it analyzes if these standards are adhered to in practice. Learnings from this exercise are then used to evolve recommendations to strengthen the capacity of FARA to counter foreign influence operations.

March 7, 2021

Who’s Funding that Lawsuit? Implications for Lawfare

by Tarun Krishnakumar

Only deeper study, discourse, and evidence-gathering around the threats to national security from TPLF will lead to meaningful consideration of the risks it poses – and whether they rise to justifying policy intervention. If nothing else, such inquiry can also have the effect of improving overall trust in TPLF. But to disregard it leaves our legal systems vulnerable and ignores what could become, or already is, a critical battlefield in the fight against malign foreign influence.