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VeriSign takes over .gov

Kevin Murphy, December 22, 2010, 22:27:50 (UTC), Domain Tech

VeriSign has taken over registry functions at .gov, the top-level domain for the US government.

IANA records show that VeriSign Global Registry Services was named technical contact for .gov possibly as recently as this Monday.

The TLD is still administratively delegated to the US General Services Administration. Google’s cache of the IANA site shows the GSA was the technical contact for .gov as recently as October 29.

VeriSign certainly kept this contract win quiet.

At least, the first I heard about it was tonight, in an email VeriSign sent to the dns-ops mailing list, asking DNS administrators to reconfigure their DNSSEC set-up to reflect the change.

A KSK [Key Signing Key] roll for the .gov zone will occur at the end of January, 2011. This key change is necessitated by a registry operator transition: VeriSign has been selected by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to operate the domain name registry for .gov.

The email expresses the urgency of making the changes, which are apparently needed in part because .gov was signed with DNSSEC before the root zone was signed, and some resolvers may be configured to use .gov as a “trust anchor” instead of the root.

The .gov TLD is reserved for the exclusive use of US federal and state government departments and agencies.

It’s certainly a prestige contract for VeriSign.

This appears to be the GSA page awarding the contract to VeriSign, in September, following an RFP. It’s valued at $3,325,000.

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Comments (1)

  1. “At least, the first I heard about it was tonight, in an email VeriSign sent to the dns-ops mailing list,” Like every IANA change, it was public and one can follow IANA changes in almost real-time on Twitter :

    http://twitter.com/ianawhois

    This specific change was announced six days ago:

    http://twitter.com/#!/ianawhois/status/15654113102536704

    and can be seen on the Web, where differences in IANA database are displayed:

    https://viewvc.generic-nic.net/viewvc.cgi/NIC-generique/iana/whois/GOV?root=R%26D&r1=10261&r2=10341

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