This so-called "ban on domestic dissemination" has been construed to be a blanket prohibition affecting all USIA program materials, because the law provides for only two exceptions. First, Congress itself occasionally exempts specific USIA program materials (usually films or artistic works) to permit their distribution within the United States. Second, Section (b)(1) authorizes distribution by the Archivist of the United States 12 years after initial dissemination of such materials abroad.
This law restricts USIA and its employees from taking steps to reach an audience within the United States through Voice of America or other USIA information programs. Standing alone, it does not directly restrict the right of U.S. residents to view, hear, or otherwise use the Agency's information materials, which they might obtain on their own. However, the law precludes USIA and its employees from assisting residents of the United States to gain access to Agency Internet servers, on which program materials are posted, or to the program materials themselves.