Having found in 2003 that government workers tend to under-report possible security breaches by their colleagues, in part because of confusion over what constitutes suspicious behavior, the Pentagon's Defense Personnel Security Research Center (PERSEREC) recently compiled a list of activities that should be reported. Some are obvious: "operating unauthorized cameras, recording devices, computers, or modems in areas where classified data are stored"; having "contact with an individual who is known to be, or is suspected of being, associated with a foreign intelligence, security, or terrorist organization." Others suggest that merely working too hard can get you into trouble: PERSEREC recommends keeping a weather eye on colleagues who do "repeated or un-required work outside of normal duty hours" or frequently volunteer "for assignments or duties beyond the normal scope of responsibilities." The call for vigilance appears to be timely: a separate PERSEREC report found that for a number of reasons, government workers are more prone to "insider espionage" than they were in the past. International travel, debt, and gambling are all on the rise among Americans, while "organizational loyalty" is down. The number of foreign-born workers with security clearances in the Defense Department has increased over the past ten years, even as the overall number of security clearances issued has decreased. This is significant, the report warns, because many employees born elsewhere have "emotional ties to a foreign country, or to family or friends in a foreign country," and they may also take a "holistic view of world affairs" that could lead them to believe espionage is "morally justifiable."
—"Reporting of Counterintelligence and Security Indicators by Supervisors and Coworkers," S. Wood, K. Crawford, and E. Lang, PERSEREC; "Technological, Social, and Economic Trends That Are Increasing U.S. Vulnerability to Insider Espionage," L. Kramer, R. Heuer, and K. Crawford, PERSEREC
As has been well documented, migration from the Northeast and Midwest to the Sun Belt has changed the makeup of the Electoral College dramatically over the past three decades. According to a paper from the Brookings Institution, even more change is likely in the next quarter century. The largest gains in political influence, the paper predicts, will go to the so-called purple states—those, such as Florida and Nevada, that are not strongly red or blue (both went for Bush in the 2004 election, but not by much), and thus are increasingly up for grabs.