Center for National Security Studies
The Center for National Security Studies, a non-governmental advocacy and research organization, was founded in 1974 to work for control of the FBI and CIA and to prevent violations of civil liberties in the United States.
A central challenge for democratic societies is to maintain national security while enhancing individual freedoms. Defense of civil liberties and constitutional procedures in the face of claims of national security is a never-ending task that requires constant vigilance and public awareness. The Center for National Security Studies plays that role as the only institution devoted solely to this constitutional watchdog function. The Center works to develop a consensus on policies that facilitate the exercise of government responsibilities in ways that do not interfere with civil liberties and constitutional government.
The Center works to strengthen the public right of access to government information, combat excessive government secrecy, assure effective oversight of intelligence agencies, protect the right of political dissent, prevent illegal government surveillance, ensure congressional authority in war powers, and protect the free exchange of ideas and information across international borders.
Since 1993, the Center has also worked internationally to assist human rights organizations and government officials in establishing oversight and accountability of intelligence agencies in emerging democracies throughout the world.