federal government; U.S. Code; propaganda; Cold War
For more than fifty years, the U.S. Code has authorized the federal government to disseminate messages about America to international audiences. For at least thirty years, federal law has also prohibited those international propaganda messages from being disseminated within the United States. Given the realities of the acceleration and dispersion of information flow across international borders in the twenty-first century, a ban on dissemination of information that is tied to geographic boundaries raises both practical and policy issues. The domestic dissemination ban may have outlived its usefulness and relevance. Further, futile enforcement of the statute contradicts general U.S. policy promoting transparency and encouraging the free and open flow of information.