Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - created by Congress in 1947. The CIA functions under the direction of the National Security Council. It serves to: coordinate information-gathering activities of all federal agencies, especially those in the Departments of State and Defense; analyze and evaluate information collected; and keep the President and National Security Council updated on all the information obtained. The CIA also conducts intelligence operations across the world, in its efforts to obtain information. It is a very secretive organization, and even Congress is largely uninformed of most of its activities, except for a few key members of Congress.