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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 10, 2012.
Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 - Amends the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 to authorize the Secretary of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to provide for the preparation and dissemination of information intended for foreign audiences abroad about the United States, including about its people, its history, and the federal government's policies, through press, publications, radio, motion pictures, the Internet, and other information media, including social media, and through information centers and instructors. (Under current law such authority is restricted to information disseminated abroad, with a limited domestic exception.)
Authorizes the Secretary and the Board to make available in the United States motion pictures, films, video, audio, and other materials prepared for dissemination abroad or disseminated abroad pursuant to such Act, the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994, the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act, or the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act.
Amends the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987 to prohibit funds for the Department of State or the Board from being used to influence public opinion or propagandizing in the United States. (Under current law such provision applies to the United States Information Agency [USIA].)
Applies such prohibition only to programs carried out pursuant to the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994, the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act, and the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act.
States that such provision shall: (1) not prohibit the Department or the Board from providing information about its operations, policies, programs, or program material, or making such information available to members of the media, public, or Congress; (2) not be construed to prohibit the Department from engaging in any medium of information on a presumption that a U.S. domestic audience may be exposed to program material; and (3) apply only to the Department and the Board and to no other federal department or agency.