New Research Resource: Center for Responsive Politics Unveils “Foreign Lobby Watch” Database
Today, in the spirit of Sunshine Week, the Center for Responsive Politics introduces Foreign Lobby Watch, allowing users of its OpenSecrets.org website to search filings required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
FARA – a 1938 law passed in reaction to Nazi propaganda efforts here in the U.S. – requires those representing foreign governments and other foreign interests to file extensive information with the Department of Justice about what, exactly, they are doing for their clients. But the searchability of the filings is limited.
Today, the Center for Responsive Politics has launched the first phase of this new project on OpenSecrets.org : We now standardize registrants, foreign principals and locations, and parse the PDF text of each filing to allow for full-text searching. CRP inherited this project from the Sunlight Foundation, which previously hosted a tool called Foreign Influence Explorer.
A second phase of this project will provide important added functionality, allowing CRP and others to connect the data on foreign lobbying to other related data sets, including lobbying reported under the Lobbying Disclosure Act.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.