Founded during World War II to counter Nazism, the U.S. lobbying group Freedom House has continued on as a respected arbiter of the state of liberty in nations and a "catalyst" for the advancement of civil and democratic rights. Freedom House recently has highlighted a disturbing trend in which many countries -- including Bangladesh, the Philippines and Kenya -- are backsliding after making progress, but its next project might hit even closer to home: an evaluation of U.S. civil liberties.

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