Native American tribes get own domain space

Federally recognized Native American tribes have been granted a domain name suffix identifying them as government entities under a cooperative agreement between the General Services Administration (GSA) and the US Department of the Interior (DOI).

The GSA is the governmental agency that grants the '.gov' domain name suffix to US federal government entities. The DOI, through its Bureau of Indian Affairs, is responsible for relations between the federal government and the sovereign tribes. The new domain name designation is part of the DOI's Bureau of Indian Affairs initiative to foster relations between the federal government and Native Americans.

A tribal domain name will appear as 'nameoftribe-nsn.gov', where 'nsn' stands for 'native sovereign nation'. In order to obtain the domain name designation, a tribe needs to apply to the Office of Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs or register at www.gov-registration.gov.

DOI officials have stated that the special domain designation was implemented to provide information regarding Native American programmes and agencies, enable e-business transaction capabilities, and provide continuous services to individuals over the Internet.

David S Lee, Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Francisco

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