[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 95 (Thursday, May 16, 2002)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 34890-34893]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-12127]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

41 CFR Part 102-173

RIN 3090-AH41


Internet GOV Domain

AGENCY: Office of Governmentwide Policy, GSA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The General Services Administration (GSA) is adding coverage 
on the Internet GOV Domain to the Federal Management Regulation (FMR). 
The purpose of this proposed rule is to provide a new policy for 
registration of domain names. This proposed rule solicits comments to 
be used in the formulation of a final rule. The FMR is written in plain 
language to provide updated regulatory material that is easy to read 
and understand.

DATES: Comment Date: Comments must be submitted on or before July 15, 
2002, to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted to: Rodney Lantier, 
Regulatory Secretariat (MVP), Office of Governmentwide Policy, General 
Services Administration, 1800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20405.
    Address e-mail comments to: RIN.3090-AH41@gsa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marion Royal, Office of Governmentwide 
Policy (ME), 202-208-4643, marion.royal@gsa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    The purpose of this proposed rule is to provide a new policy for 
the Internet GOV Domain that will be included in the Federal Management 
Regulation (FMR). The proposed rule is written in a plain language 
question and answer format. This style uses an active voice, shorter 
sentences, and pronouns. Unless otherwise indicated in the text, the 
pronoun ``we'' refers to the General Services Administration. A 
question and its answer combine to establish a rule. You must follow 
the language contained in both the question and its answer.
    This proposed rule establishes Federal Management Regulation (FMR) 
part 102-173, Internet GOV Domain, and provides policy for registration 
of domain names. An earlier regulation was previously located in the 
Federal Property Management Regulation (FPMR) (41 CFR part 101-35, 
subpart 101-35.7, Network Address Registration) and expired on August 
8, 2001.
    Jurisdiction of the Internet GOV (dot-gov) domain was delegated to 
the General Services Administration (GSA) in 1997 by the Federal 
Networking Council with guidance in the form of Internet Engineering 
Task Force (IETF) Informational RFC 2146. Since then, the U.S. 
Government use of the Internet has evolved and is rapidly emerging as 
an electronic government without boundaries. Federal organizations are 
choosing dot-gov domain names to reflect the type of service being 
rendered and are collaborating to form portals that cross boundaries of 
agencies, departments, and other U.S. government entities.
    In addition, there is increasing interest from non-Federal U.S. 
government entities, such as State and local governments, and Federally 
recognized Indian tribes, known in this rule as Native Sovereign 
Nations (NSNs), to provide service within the dot-gov domain. Many such 
governmental entities believe that their citizens are likely to 
associate their government at all levels with the dot-gov domain, and 
therefore, want the additional option of positioning their governmental 
portal to the public within this space. GSA has entered into an 
agreement with the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs to 
facilitate the registration of NSNs in the dot-gov domain. GSA is now 
seeking public comment on the new policy to make the dot-gov domain 
available to State and local governments and Native Sovereign Nations.

Questions for the Proposed Rule

    The public is invited to comment on any aspect of the proposed 
rule, including, but not limited to, the specific questions set forth 
below. When responding to specific questions, responses should cite the 
number(s) of the questions addressed and the ``section'' of the 
proposed rule to which your response corresponds. Please provide any 
references to support the responses submitted.
Question 1
    This proposed rule sets forth the policy under which GSA will make 
the dot-gov domain available to non-Federal government entities. Should 
the dot-gov domain be expanded to include non-Federal government 
entities? What are the benefits to the American public of including all 
levels of government (Federal, State, local and NSNs) within one top-
level domain? Would there be any disadvantages to such an approach?
Question 2
    Section 102-173.35 of this proposed rule provides that second-level 
domain registrations in the dot-gov domain must be authorized by a 
high-ranking official within the Federal, State, and local governments. 
A second-level domain is that part of the Internet address before the 
``.com'', ``.net'', ``.gov''. The NSN registrations must be authorized 
by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Section 102-173.40 provides guidance 
on the type of official within each level of government whose 
authorization GSA will recognize. Are the listed officials the 
appropriate officials within these governmental entities to provide the 
authorization for registration? If not, please provide your alternative 
suggestions for authorizing officials. What kind of information should 
authorizing officials be required to provide GSA to authenticate the 
requested second-level domain registration in dot-gov? Would it be 
helpful to provide additional guidance in the final rule with respect 
to the kind of information authorizing officials will be expected to 
provide GSA?
Question 3
    GSA has, in the past, reserved the right to charge fees for 
registration services in or to recover the cost of operating the dot-
gov domain. See

[[Page 34891]]

GSA's final rule, ``User Fees; Network Registration Services'' (64 FR 
32196, June 16, 1999). In section 102-173.45 of this proposed rule, GSA 
proposes to employ a system of collection that will include a one-time 
set fee for new registrations which will be in a range from $250 to 
$1000, depending on the level of assistance that may be provided by GSA 
and a recurring annual charge in the range of $100 to $500 for all dot-
gov domains. The fees are based on anticipated costs for operating the 
registration service and are consistent with industry charges. Please 
provide any comments on whether a one-time set-up fee and an annual 
recurring charge is the appropriate mechanism for recovering GSA's 
costs and the proposed range of fees.
Question 4
    Sections 102-173.50, 102-173.55, and 102-173.60 of this proposed 
rule provide mandatory naming conventions for States, Cities and 
Townships, and Counties or Parishes, respectively. These naming 
conventions are intended to ensure that the American public can readily 
identify the governmental entity associated with the second-level 
domain and to minimize potential conflicts between the various levels 
of government and between local governments with the same name. States 
are encouraged to make third-level domain names available to State 
departments and programs and local governments. In turn, local 
governments (cities, townships, and counties) are encouraged to 
register under a State's second-level domain to the extent such an 
option is available.
    Is the requirement that States must include either the full State 
name or its postal code the appropriate naming convention for a State? 
Are there alternative naming conventions for States that would achieve 
the twin goals of easy public identification and reduced conflicts? Are 
there other naming conventions for Cities or Townships with the same 
name as each other or a County or Parish within their State than the 
ones proposed that would minimize conflicts?
Question 5
    In section 102-173.65 of this proposed rule, GSA provides a 
mandatory naming convention for NSNs that would require the second-
level domain be in the form of the registering NSN name followed by a 
suffix of ``-NSN.gov''. Inclusion of ``NSN'' within the second-level 
domain is consistent with the current naming convention for NSNs with 
the .us domain and is readily recognized by the public. Is this an 
appropriate naming convention for NSNs or is there an alternative 
naming convention that would better meet the needs of the NSNs?
Question 6
    In section 102-173.35 of this proposed rule, GSA makes it clear 
that in most cases it will not make determinations on the 
appropriateness of selected names, but will reserve the right not to 
assign names on a case-by-case basis. Is this sufficient to allow GSA 
to resolve any disputes that may arise between registrants? Do the 
proposed mandatory naming conventions eliminate the need for any 
additional dispute resolution mechanism?
    If not, what kind of dispute resolution mechanism should be 
implemented?
Question 7
    Sections 102-173.70 through 102-173.85 of this proposed rule 
provide information about the system by which registrations will be 
processed. Are there ways in which the process can be improved or 
streamlined? Is 60 days sufficient time for most governmental entities 
to obtain authorization from the appropriate officials?
Question 8
    Section 102-173.30 authorizes registration of dot-gov domains to 
local governments. How should a local government be defined? Should it 
only include cities, towns, counties, and parishes, or should it extend 
to organizations such as water districts, etc.? What should GSA use as 
a reference for local governments?

B. Executive Order 12866

    This is a significant rule and was subject to Office of Management 
and Budget review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, 
Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that the proposed amendments will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, because the 
registration and renewal fees, and paperwork collection burden will be 
small.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because this proposed 
rule does not contain any information collection requirements that 
require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 
44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

E. Congressional Review Act

    This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule does not significantly or uniquely affect small 
governments or tribal governments. It does not result in expenditures 
by State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, of 
$100 million or more in any one year.

G. Executive Order 13132 on Federalism

    This proposed rule does not have Federalism implications. There are 
no substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship 
between the national government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

List of Subjects in 41 CFR Part 102-173

    Archives and records, Computer technology, Federal information 
processing resources activities, Government procurement, Property 
management, Records management, Telecommunications.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, GSA proposes to amend 41 
CFR chapter 102 as follows:

CHAPTER 102--[AMENDED]

    Part 102-173 is added to subchapter F of chapter 102 to read as 
follows:

PART 102-173--INTERNET GOV DOMAIN

Subpart A--General
Sec.
102-173.5   What is Internet GOV Domain?
102-173.10   What is the authority or jurisdiction of the Internet 
GOV Domain?
102-173.15   What is the scope of this part?
102-173.20   To whom does this part apply?
102-173.25   What definitions apply to this part?
Subpart B--Registration
102-173.30   Who may register in the dot-gov domain?
102-173.35   Who authorizes domain names?
102-173.40   Who is my Chief Information Officer (CIO)?
102-173.45   Is there a registration charge for domain names?
102-173.50   What is the naming convention for States?
102-173.55   What is the naming convention for Cities and Townships?
102-173.60   What is the naming convention for Counties or Parishes?
102-173.65   What is the naming convention for Native Sovereign 
Nations?
102-173.70   Where do I register my dot-gov domain name?
102-173.75   How long does the process take?

[[Page 34892]]

102-173.80   How will I know if my request is approved?
102-173.85   How long will my application be held, waiting for my 
CIO approval?

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c).

Subpart A--General


Sec. 102-173.5  What is Internet GOV Domain?

    Internet GOV Domain refers to the Internet top-level domain ``dot-
gov'' operated by the General Services Administration (GSA) for the 
registration of U.S. government-related domain names. In general, these 
names reflect the organization names in the Federal Government and non-
Federal government entities in the United States. These names are now 
being used to promote government services and increase the ease of 
finding these services.


Sec. 102-173.10  What is the authority or jurisdiction of the Internet 
GOV Domain?

    Jurisdiction of the Internet GOV (dot-gov) domain was delegated to 
GSA in 1997 by the Federal Networking Council with guidance in the form 
of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Informational RFC 2146, which 
can be obtained on the Internet at: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2146.txt?number=2146.


Sec. 102-173.15  What is the scope of this part?

    This part addresses the registration of second-level domain names 
used in the Internet GOV Domain. This registration process assures that 
the assigned domain names are unique worldwide.


Sec. 102-173.20  To whom does this part apply?

    This part applies to Federal, State, and local governments, and 
Native Sovereign Nations. You do not need to register domain names with 
us if you will be using some other top-level domain registration, such 
as dot-us, dot-org, or dot-net.


Sec. 102-173.25  What definitions apply to this part?

    The following definitions apply to this part:
    Domain is a region of jurisdiction on the Internet for naming 
assignment. GSA is responsible for registrations in the dot-gov domain.
    Domain name is a name assigned to an Internet server. This is the 
name that you request from GSA. Typically, you would apply this name to 
a domain name server.
    Domain name server is the computer that provides pointers from the 
domain name to the actual computers.
    Dot-gov refers to domain names ending with a ``.gov'' suffix. The 
Internet GOV domain is another way of expressing the collection of dot-
gov domain names.
    Native Sovereign Nations (NSN) are federally recognized tribes.

Subpart B--Registration


Sec. 102-173.30  Who may register in the dot-gov domain?

    Registration in the dot-gov domain is available to official 
governmental organizations in the United States including Federal, 
State, and local governments, and Native Sovereign Nations.


Sec. 102-173.35  Who authorizes domain names?

    Domain names must be authorized by the Chief Information Officer 
(CIO) of the requesting or sponsoring governmental organization. For 
Federal departments and agencies, GSA will accept authorization from 
the CIO of the department or agency. For independent Federal government 
agencies, boards, and commissions, GSA will accept authorization from 
the highest-ranking Information Technology Official. For State and 
local governments, GSA will accept authorization from appropriate State 
or local officials, see Sec. 102-173.40. For Native Sovereign Nations, 
GSA will only accept authorization from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
Department of the Interior. In most cases, GSA will not make 
determinations on the appropriateness of the selected domain names, but 
reserves the right to not assign domain names on a case-by-case basis. 
Non-Federal government domain names must follow the naming conventions 
described in Secs. 102-173.50 through 102-173.65.


Sec. 102-173.40  Who is my Chief Information Officer (CIO)?

    Your Chief Information Officer (CIO) may vary according to the 
branch of government. For the Federal Government, GSA recognizes the 
cabinet level CIOs listed at http://www.cio.gov. For States, GSA will 
accept authorization from the Office of the Governor or highest-ranking 
Information Technology (IT) official. Other officials include the Mayor 
(for city or town), County Commissioner (for counties) or highest 
ranking IT official. Native Sovereign Nations (NSN) must receive 
authorization from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. CIOs may delegate this 
authority by notification to GSA.


Sec. 102-173.45  Is there a registration charge for domain names?

    GSA reserves the right to charge for domain names in order to 
recover cost of operations. For current registration charges, please 
visit http://nic.gov. GSA proposes to employ a system of collection 
that includes a one-time setup fee for new registrations, which will be 
in the range of $250 to $1000, depending on the level of assistance 
that may be provided by GSA, and a recurring annual charge in the range 
of $100 to $500 for all dot-gov domains. The fees are based on 
anticipated costs for operating the registration service and are 
consistent with industry charges.


Sec. 102-173.50  What is the naming convention for States?

    (a) To register any second-level domain within dot-gov, State 
government entities must register the full State name or clearly 
indicate the State postal code within the name. Examples of acceptable 
names include: virginia.gov, tennesseeanytime.gov, wa.gov, nmparks.gov, 
mysc.gov, emaryland.gov, and ne-taxes.gov. However:
    (1) Use of the State postal code should not be embedded within a 
single word in a way that obscures the postal code. For example, 
Indiana (IN) should not register for win.gov, or independence.gov; and
    (2) Where potential conflicts arise between postal codes and 
existing domain names (``va'' for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the 
United States Department of Veterans Affairs), States are encouraged to 
register URL's that contain the full State name.
    (b) There is no limit to the number of domain names for which a 
State may register.
    (c) States are encouraged to make second-level domains available 
for third-level registration by local governments and State Government 
departments and programs. For example, the State of North Carolina 
could register NC.GOV as a second-level domain and develop a system of 
registration for their local governments. The State would be free to 
develop policy on how the local government should be registered under 
NC.GOV. One possibility might be to spell out the city, thus 
Raleigh.NC.gov could be a resulting domain name.


Sec. 102-173.55  What is the naming convention for Cities and 
Townships?

    (a) To register any second-level domain within dot-gov, City (town) 
governments must register the domain name with the city (town) name or 
abbreviation, and clear reference to the State in which the city (town) 
is located. However:
    (1) Use of the State postal code should not be embedded within a 
single word

[[Page 34893]]

in a way that obscures the postal code; and
    (2) Inclusion of the word ``city'' or ``town'' within the domain 
name is optional and may be used at the discretion of the local 
government.
    (b) The preferred format for city governments is to denote the 
State postal code after the city name, optionally separated by a dash. 
Examples of preferred domain names include:
    (1) chicago-il.gov;
    (2) cityofcharleston-sc.gov;
    (3) charleston-wv.gov; and
    (4) townofdumfries-va.gov.
    (c) If third-level domain naming is available from the State 
government, cities and towns are encouraged to register for a domain 
name under a State's registered second-level (e.g., chicago.il.gov) in 
accordance with the policies established by the State government.


Sec. 102-173.60  What is the naming convention for Counties or 
Parishes?

    (a) To register any second-level domain within dot-gov, County or 
Parish governments must register the County's or Parish's name or 
abbreviation, the word ``county'' or ``parish'' (because many counties 
have the same name as cities within the same State), and a reference to 
the State in which the county or parish is located. However, the use of 
the State postal code should not be embedded within a single word in a 
way that obscures the postal code.
    (b) The preferred format for county or parish governments is to 
denote the State postal code after the county or parish, optionally 
separated by a dash. Examples of preferred domain names include:
    (1) richmondcounty-ga.gov;
    (2) pwc-county-va.gov; and
    (3) countyofdorchestor-sc.gov.
    (c) If third-level domain naming is available from the State 
government, counties or parishes are encouraged to register for a 
domain name under a State's registered second-level (e.g., 
richmondcounty.ga.gov).


Sec. 102-173.65  What is the naming convention for Native Sovereign 
Nations?

    To register any second-level domain in dot-gov, Native Sovereign 
Nations may register any second-level domain name provided that it 
contains the registering NSN name followed by a suffix of ``-NSN.gov'' 
(case insensitive).


Sec. 102-173.70  Where do I register my dot-gov domain name?

    Registration is an online process at http://nic.gov. At the Network 
Information Site (NIC), you will find the instructions and online 
registration forms for registering your domain name. To register your 
domain name you will need to provide information such as your desired 
domain name, sponsoring organization, points of contact, and at least 
two name server addresses.


Sec. 102-173.75  How long does the process take?

    The process can be completed within 48 hours if all information 
received is complete and accurate. Most requests take up to thirty (30) 
days because the registrar is waiting for CIO approval.


Sec. 102-173.80  How will I know if my request is approved?

    A registration confirmation notice is sent within one business day 
after you register your domain name, informing you that your 
registration information was received. If all of your information is 
accurate and complete, a second notice will be sent to you within one 
business day, informing you that all of your information is in order. 
If you are ineligible, or if the information provided is incorrect or 
incomplete, your registration will be rejected and a notice will be 
sent to you stating the reason for rejection. Registration requests 
will be activated within two business days after receiving valid 
authorization from the appropriate CIO. Once your domain name has been 
activated, a notice will be sent to you.


Sec. 102-173.85  How long will my application be held, waiting for my 
CIO approval?

    Registrations will be held in reserve status for sixty (60) days 
pending CIO authorization from your sponsoring organization.

    Dated: May 9, 2002.
G. Martin Wagner,
Associate Administrator, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
[FR Doc. 02-12127 Filed 5-15-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-34-P