Government domain names (“.gov”) for websites are supposed to be restricted to eligible government organizations and programs.
Does Barack Obama’s transition website, www.change.gov — which is basically a souped-up version of his campaign site — qualify? As Ed Morrissey pointed out yesterday, “The incoming administration technically has no status as a government organization or program until January 20, 2009. The “Office of the President-Elect” doesn’t exist within the government.”
The primary goal of the transition site seems to be to collect e-mail addresses and personal information — for future fund-raising and political organizing projects. More on that in a moment.
Did the GSA, which administers the rules governing .gov websites, vet this site? One industry exec doesn’t think so, and has sent a complaint:
To whom it may concern,
Recently a new .gov domain name was registered. The name of this domain was http://www.change.gov. This appears to be a violation of the Domain Naming Conventions Summary located at https://www.dotgov.gov/dnc.aspx. The domain does not appear to meet the criteria outlined on that page. It is my belief that the name was granted without the proper review, due to the current political climate and may in fact have been a political favor which is a clear violation of federal law.
What is the process to file a complaint regarding improper use of the .gov TLD?
Thank you for your time and cooperation.
Chief Technology Officer
Known Element Enterprises – Corporate
Let’s look at who’s operating Obama’s .gov site. It’s being run by Blue State Digital, the left-wing Internet fund-raising company that presided over the credit card fraud-friendly Obama campaign site. A tipster traced the IP address:
CustName: Blue State Digital
Address: 1000 Vermont Avenue, NW
Address: Suite 1000
NetRange: 22.214.171.124 – 126.96.36.199
RTechName: InterNap Network Operations Center
Blue State Digital (BSD) is a leader in online fundraising, advocacy, social networking, and constituency development programs for nonprofit organizations, political candidates and causes, and corporations. Since our founding in 2004, we’ve delivered successfully on the promise of the Internet to over 200 satisfied clients, including Obama for America, Wal-Mart Watch, the Alliance for Climate Protection, and the Communications Workers of America, raising over $200 million in contributions to date and generating tens of millions of online signups and actions.
Walks, talks, and smells like a fund-raising front to me.
Meantime, readers have been sifting through the site. Here are screenshots of two creepy items to keep an eye on. America Serves…or else!
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
Unofficial motto of Obama-Biden ’08.
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