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Is the NTIA doing anything with domains?

It has been mostly silent since its Assistant Secretary stepped down last year.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is the U.S. government agency that cares about domain names. It manages the contract for .us domains and enters into the Cooperative Agreement with Verisign for limiting .com prices.

It also frequently speaks on governance issues related to domains. It posts regular updates about its speaking engagements at various governance forums and announces its policy stances online.

Or, at least, it did.

The NTIA hasn’t posted a single update since July of last year. Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator David Redl, who oversaw the organization, resigned in May 2019 after just 18 months on the job.  Since then, the NTIA posted two items in July 2019: a notice that Neustar would continue to operate .us and remarks of Acting Assistant Secretary Diane Rinaldo at IGF-USA 2019.

That latter announcement also mentioned that Fiona Alexander, a 20 year veteran of NTIA, had left.

(Redl and Alexander formed a consulting firm together. Redl, who railed against ICANN employees going to work in the industry, is now lobbying.)

After that, crickets.

So is the NTIA still paying attention to domain name policy? Or has it been hollowed out like much of the federal government? There’s still no formal replacement for Redl.

I reached out to an NTIA spokesperson last week for comment.

So far, crickets.


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