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GSA Issues Interim Rule on Transfer of DotGov Domain Program to CISA

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The General Services Administration has released an interim rule to facilitate and complete the transfer of the DotGov Domain Program’s management, operation and ownership from GSA to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in accordance with the provisions of the DOTGOV Act of 2020.

The rule takes effect Monday, Jan. 10th, and applies to all newly released, renewed and already in operation .gov domains, according to a Federal Register notice published Monday. 

GSA’s office of governmentwide policy has supported for over two decades the .gov domain, which is considered a critical infrastructure and is key to the integrity and availability of thousands of online services that millions of users depend on. 

“Since the .gov domain underpins communication with and within these institutions, cybersecurity significance of all aspects of .gov’s administration has been increasing rapidly,” according to the notice. 

In October 2019, senators proposed the DOTGOV Act of 2020 that requires GSA to hand over the DotGov program to the Department of Homeland Security’s CISA as part of efforts to expand cybersecurity support and broaden the domain’s usage among public entities. The transfer of the .gov top-level domain to CISA started in April 2021.

Under the interim rule, GSA will remove all requirements within part 102-173 of title 41, Code of Federal Regulations, that apply to any state, local, territorial or federal government entity with regard to the registration and operation of a .gov internet domain. Under the law, CISA should come up with a new set of requirements for the operation and registration of .gov domains in consultation with the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Comments on the interim rule are due March 11th.

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