An initial foreign agent law was adopted by Russian Federation in 2012, giving authorities the power to label non-governmental organisations and human rights groups as foreign agents - a term that carries a negative Soviet-era connotations.
Russian officials have said the law is a "symmetrical response" after Russia's state-funded channel RT - which U.S. authorities accuse of spreading propaganda - was required to register its U.S. operating unit under the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act.
The new law can apply to anyone who distributes content that is produced by media outlets registered as foreign agents and receives payments from overseas. Individuals registered as foreign agents will be subject to additional government scrutiny. The law, which will come into force on July 1 next year, has been met with resistance by some electronics retailers, who say the legislation was adopted without consulting them.
Foreign agents, defined as involved in politics and receiving money from overseas, must register with the justice ministry, label publications with the tag and submit detailed paperwork or face fines.
The bill's authors said it's meant to "perfect" existing legislation on foreign agents that covers NGOs and media organizations.
Russian opposition politician Alexi Navalny's organisation has been branded a foreign agent, as has US-financed media outlet Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe and Voice of America.