In modem times, governments almost invariably invoke the concept of national security to justify restrictions on the rights and freedoms of persons subject to their jurisdiction. The claimed threat to national security varies--external attack or subversion, internal unrest and violence, and economic crisis are commonly cited menaces. Sometimes, governments will claim multiple threats of a highly diffuse nature to justify wholesale suspension of the constitutional order.
Michael A. Jacobs,
Security of the Person and Security of the State: Human Rights and Claims of National Security,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol9/iss1/2