Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

About Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

While investigations into Russian influence in the 2016 election regularly garner front-page headlines, there is a half-billion-dollar foreign influence industry working to shape U.S. foreign policy every single day that remains largely unknown to the public. The Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative is working to change that anonymity through transparency promotion, investigative research, and public education.

The Initiative believes that promoting transparency is the best tool for highlighting the impact – potentially for both good and ill – of foreign influence on American democracy. To this end, it works to devise policy solutions to increase the incentives for agents to properly register and report the work they are doing on behalf of foreign powers and to make the details of such contracts and work publicly available.

FITI also seeks to highlight how advocacy campaigns implemented on behalf of foreign powers have successfully influenced U.S. foreign policy, particularly lobbying that promotes a more militarized U.S. foreign policy. Finally, the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative is dedicated to increasing public education about the role foreign powers play within American democracy. Efforts to accomplish this goal include collaborating with journalists to highlight corruption in the foreign influence industry and working with policymakers to devise solutions that minimize the ill effects of undue foreign influence.

Making Sense of Foreign Agents Registration Act Advisory Opinions

By Ben Freeman, Sarah Jolley, Hannah Poteete

Jun-20-2018 | Policy Brief

The first comprehensive list of Advisory Options under FARA... Read More »


By Hannah Poteete, Sarah Jolley

Jun-15-2018 | Article

On May 13, just days after Trump announced the US would leave the Iran deal, Trump administration officials made the Sunday talk show rounds with one clear message: if European companies continue to do business with Iran, the US will slap them with sanctions... Read More »

Confidence in Government on National Security Matters: May 2018

By Ben Freeman

Jun-12-2018 | Article

In July, we began a polling project to measure public confidence in government institutions on national security matters on an ongoing basis. This post provides our data for the month of May... Read More »

The Difference a Hearing Makes: Public Awareness of and Confidence in Gina Haspel Increased After Her Senate Testimony

By Ben Freeman

May-31-2018 | Article

The fight over Gina Haspel’s nomination to be director of the CIA was one of the more politically controversial that has emerged in recent months. It raised complex questions of leadership and accountability and reopened discussion over this country’s use of harsh interrogation techniques that many have characterized as torture... Read More »

Recent Posts from our Blogs

Building informed democracy in an era of endless war

Jun-30-18 | Open the Govt.

We’d like to invite you to join a series of strategy roundtables to identify the primary barriers to public access to information on different aspects of U.S. wars, as well as the accountability tools and mechanisms that need to be strengthened (think whistleblower protections, FOIA, Congressional oversight, etc).... Read More »

CIP in the Press