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gov
dot gov
Introduced 1985
TLD type Sponsored top-level domain
Status Active
Registry General Services Administration, operated by ZoneEdit
Sponsor General Services Administration
Intended use Governmental entities
Actual use United States government; formerly only federal government but later expanded to include state and local government
Registration restrictions Must meet eligibility requirements and submit authorization letter
Structure Registrations at second level permitted
Documents RFC 920; RFC 1591; RFC 2146
Dispute policies None
Website dotgov.gov

The domain name gov is a sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet. The name is derived from government, indicating its restricted use by government entities in the United States. The gov domain is administered by the General Services Administration (GSA), an independent agency of the United States federal government. The URL for registration services is http://www.dotgov.gov.[1]

The U.S. is the only country that has a government-specific top-level domain in addition to its country-code top-level domain. This is a result from the origins of the Internet as a U.S. federal government-sponsored research network (see ARPANET and National Science Foundation Network). Other countries typically delegate a second-level domain for this purpose.

Some U.S. federal agencies use fed.us rather than gov. The Department of Defense and its subsidiary organizations use the mil sTLD. Some U.S. governmental entities use other domains, such as com domains by the United States Postal Service (which uses both usps.gov and usps.com for the same website, although it only advertises the com address), and the United States Army's recruitment website (goarmy.com, this trend is repeated at the recruitment websites of the other branches of the U.S. military).

Additionally, some technically private organizations having some formal association with the federal government make use of gov, such as the Federal Reserve System (federalreserve.gov).

All governments in the U.S. are allowed to apply for delegations in gov, such as atlantaga.gov for the city of Atlanta, loudoun.gov for the county of Loudoun, Virginia and georgia.gov for the U.S. state of Georgia. This was not always true; under an earlier policy, only federal agencies were allowed to use the domain, and agencies beneath cabinet level were required to use subdomains of their parent agency. There is a lack of consistency in addresses of state and local government sites, with some using gov, some us, some using both (the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania uses www.pa.gov, www.pennsylvania.gov and www.state.pa.us for the same web site) and still others in com, org or other TLDs.

Contents

Availability

Use of the gov domain is restricted to government entities. According to GSA guidelines, this includes U.S. Governmental departments, programs, and agencies on the federal level; federally recognized tribes (referred to by the GSA as Native Sovereign Nations, which must use the suffix -NSN.gov); State governmental entities and programs; cities and townships represented by an elected body of officials; counties and parishes represented by an elected body of officials; and U.S. territories.[2]

Authorization

To register a gov domain, a letter of authorization must be submitted to the GSA. For federal agencies, the authorization must be submitted by cabinet-level chief information officer (CIO). For state governments, authorization from the governor or state CIO is required. Domain names for cities require authorization from the mayor or equivalent official; for counties, authorization may be submitted by county commissioners or equivalent officials, or by the highest-ranking county official.[3] For Native Sovereign Nations, the authorization must come from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.[4]

Naming conventions

The GSA provides guidelines for naming of second-level domains, such as those used by state and local governments. For states, the domain name must include the full state name or postal abbreviation, and the abbreviation must not be obscured by inclusion in a larger word. For example, invalid.gov for Idaho would be an unacceptable domain name.[5]

Policy

Policy regarding the gov domain is laid out in 41 CFR Part 102-173, a Final Rule promulgated by the GSA in the Federal Register on March 28, 2003. [1]

States in GOV

As of November 2009, all states in the U.S. have operational domains in gov:

Alabama al.gov and alabama.gov
Alaska alaska.gov
Arizona az.gov
Arkansas ar.gov and arkansas.gov
California ca.gov and california.gov
Colorado colorado.gov
Connecticut ct.gov
Delaware Delaware.gov
Florida florida.gov (redirects to myflorida.com)
Georgia georgia.gov and ga.gov
Guam guam.gov
Hawaii hawaii.gov (redirects to ehawaii.gov)
Idaho idaho.gov
Illinois Illinois.gov
Indiana in.gov
Iowa iowa.gov
Kansas ks.gov and kansas.gov
Kentucky ky.gov and kentucky.gov
Louisiana louisiana.gov
Maine maine.gov
Maryland maryland.gov
Massachusetts mass.gov
Michigan michigan.gov
Minnesota mn.gov (redirects to www.state.mn.us)
Mississippi mississippi.gov
Missouri mo.gov
Montana mt.gov and montana.gov
Nebraska nebraska.gov
Nevada nv.gov
New Hampshire nh.gov and visitnh.gov
New Jersey nj.gov and newjersey.gov
New Mexico newmexico.gov
New York ny.gov
North Carolina nc.gov and northcarolina.gov
North Dakota nd.gov
Ohio ohio.gov
Oklahoma ok.gov
Oregon oregon.gov
Pennsylvania www.pa.gov and www.pennsylvania.gov
Rhode Island www.ri.gov
South Carolina www.sc.gov
South Dakota sd.gov
Tennessee tennessee.gov and tn.gov
Texas texas.gov (redirects to texasonline.com)
Utah utah.gov
Vermont vermont.gov
Virginia virginia.gov
Washington wa.gov and washington.gov
West Virginia wv.gov
Wisconsin wisconsin.gov
Wyoming wyoming.gov

The District of Columbia follows this trend with dc.gov

References

  1. ^ "Delegation Record for .GOV". IANA. http://www.iana.org/root-whois/gov.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  2. ^ "Eligibility Requirements". General Services Administration. https://www.dotgov.gov/help_qualify.aspx. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  3. ^ "Authorization Letter". General Services Administration. https://www.dotgov.gov/auth_letter.aspx. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  4. ^ "Who authorizes domain names?". General Services Administration. https://www.dotgov.gov/final_rule_102.aspx#10217335. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  5. ^ "Sec. 102-173.50 What is the naming convention for States?". General Services Administration. https://www.dotgov.gov/final_rule_102.aspx#10217350. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 

External links

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia-logo.png
Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

See also gov

Translingual

Pronunciation

Pronounced as "dot-gov".

Abbreviation

.gov

  1. (Internet) An Internet TLD indicating that a website is used by a government institution.

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