Network Working Group Federal Networking Council
Request For Comments: 1811 June 1995
U.S. Government Internet Domain Names
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo
does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of
this memo is unlimited.
This document describes the registration policies for the top-level
domain ".GOV". Thus far, Federal Agencies and their subsidiaries
have registered without any guidance. This has resulted in multiple
registrations for Federal Agencies and naming schemes that do not
facilitate responsiveness to the public. This document fixes this by
restricting registrations to coincide with the approved structure of
the US government. The document cited, FIPS 95-1, provides a
standard recognized structure into which domain registrations for
top-level domains. The IANA requires that an organization/country
apply for and get a 2 letter code from ISO/ITU (e.g., US for United
States) for additional top-level registration.
As a side effect, this reduces the number of .GOV level registrations
and reduces the workload on the Internic.
The .GOV domain is delegated from the root authority to the US
Federal Networking Council. The .GOV domain is for registration of
US governmental entities on the federal level only. Registrations
for state and local governmental agencies shall be made under the .US
domain in accordance with the policies for that domain.
1) The document "Codes for the Identification of Federal and
Federally Assisted Organizations", FIPS 95-1 (or its successor)
lists the official names of US Government agencies.
A) Top-level entities (e.g., those with codes ending in 00 such as
"1200 Department of Agriculture"), and independent agencies and
organizations (e.g., "National Science Foundation and other non-
indented listings unless prohibited below) as listed in this
document are eligible for registration directly under .GOV.
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RFC 1811 U.S. Government Internet Domain Names June 1995
B) Autonomous law enforcement components of top-level entities
(e.g., "Federal Bureau of Investigation", "Secret Service", "Coast
Guard") are also eligible for registration.
C) Cross-agency collaborative organizations (e.g., "Federal
Networking Council", "Information Infrastructure Task Force") are
eligible for registration under .GOV upon presentation of the
chartering document and are the only non-FIPS-listed
organizations eligible for registration under .GOV.
D) Subsidiary, non-autonomous components of top-level or other
entities are not eligible for separate registration.
International organizations listed in this document are NOT
eligible for registration under .GOV.
E) Organizations listed as "Federally Aided Organizations" are not
eligible for registration under .GOV and should register under
.ORG or other appropriate top-level domain.
F) Organizations subsidiary to "Department of Defense" must
register under the ".MIL" domain via the Defense Data Network
Network Information Center - contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The only standard exceptions to these rules are changes to
governmental structure due to statutory, regulatory or executive
directives not yet reflected in the above document. The requesting
agency should provide documentation in one of the above forms to
request an exception. Other requests for exception should be
referred to the Federal Networking Council.
2) A domain name should be derived from the official name for the
organization (e.g., "USDA.Gov" or "Agriculture.GOV".) The
registration shall be listed in the registration database under the
official name (per FIPS 95-1) for the organization or under the name
in the chartering document.
3) Only ONE registration and delegation shall be made per agency.
The .GOV registration authority shall provide registrations on a
first-come first-served basis. It is an individual agency matter as
to which portion of the agency is responsible for managing the domain
space under a delegated agency domain.
4) Those agencies and entities that have multiple registrations under
.GOV may retain them for a maximum of 3 years from the publication
date of this document. Within 6 months after the publication of this
document, one primary domain must be selected for the agency. The
other (secondary) domains must cease further sub-delegations and
registrations at this time. As of 1 year after the publication of
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RFC 1811 U.S. Government Internet Domain Names June 1995
this document, the secondary domains will become undelegated and will
revert to the control of the .GOV owner. As of 2 years after the
publication of this document, all registrations in the secondary
domains must be mirrored in the primary domain and those names should
be used where possible. At the 3 year point, all secondary domain
registrations will be deleted.
5) Those agencies and entities already registered in .GOV but not
listed in FIPS 95-1 (e.g., DOE labs, state entities) may retain their
registration within the constraint of the single registration rule
(see para 4). No further non-FIPS-listed registrations will be made.
State and local entities are strongly encouraged to re-register under
.US, but this is not mandatory.
 Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 95-1 (FIPS
PUB 95-1, "Codes for the Identification of Feral and Federally
Assisted Organizations", U.S. Department of Commerce, National
Institute of Standards and Technology, January 4, 1993.
 Postel, J., "Domain Name System Structure and Delegation", RFC
1591, USC/Information Sciences Institute, March 1994.
Security issues are not discussed in this memo.
Federal Networking Council
4001 N. Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: (703) 522-6410
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