.gov is moving to CISA
March 8, 2021
.gov exists so that the online services of bona fide U.S.-based government organizations are easy to identify on the internet. Increasing and normalizing its use helps the public know where to find official government information – and where not to.
For those that use it, .gov is critical infrastructure: it’s central to the availability and integrity of thousands of online services relied upon by millions of users. Since it underpins communication with and within these institutions, all aspects of .gov’s administration have cybersecurity significance.
What’s happening now
Because of this, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency will be the new policy and management authority for the .gov top-level domain (TLD), assuming governance from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). This is happening under the DOTGOV Act of 2020, legislation that was part of the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. For more than 20 years, GSA has supported government organizations and worked to make .gov a trusted space. CISA is committed to that aim, too. We’ll be good stewards of the program GSA created and .gov’s shared infrastructure, and we thank the dedicated public servants at GSA for their work.
For current .gov registrants, the transfer won’t impact use of the .gov registrar, which is where domains are managed, renewed, and where new domains can be requested. GSA and CISA are working together to ensure a seamless transition in day-to-day operations, which will be finalized by late April.
What’s happening next
In the coming months and years, CISA intends to provide a user-centered platform for DNS management, help government organizations maintain better awareness of the security threats their .gov systems are exposed to, and offer additional services to support the privacy, reliability, accessibility, and speed of .gov domains.
The DOTGOV Act reports Congress’ finding that “the .gov internet domain should be available at no cost or a negligible cost” to U.S.-based government organizations. CISA is working on this – and we ask for your patience. The way .gov domains are priced is tied closely with the service contract to operate the TLD, and change in the price of a domain is not expected until next year. The Act also contemplates the use of Homeland Security Grants for “migrating any online service” to .gov, a process we will work out with FEMA.
.gov holds a unique place in internet history, and we couldn’t be more excited to honor and build on that legacy. If you’re from the government, we’re here to help: