Bipartisan bill would have local governments use .gov to strengthen cybersecurity defenses

Aiming to help local governments bolster their cybersecurity posture, a bipartisan quartet of senators have introduced legislation that would mandate the use of the .gov domain for websites and email.

The DOTGOV Online Trust in Government Act of 2019 introduced by Senators James Lankford, R-Okla., Gary Peter, D-Mich., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., charges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to put resources toward helping local governments switch to .gov web addresses already used at the federal and state levels.

“When official government websites use the .gov domain instead of alternatives like .us or .com, it makes those government websites and email addresses more secure,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “Unfortunately, right now most county and local governments don’t use the .gov domain. This allows cybercriminals to more easily impersonate government officials in order to defraud the public and get people to share sensitive information. Our bipartisan bill provides support services, security enhancements, and dedicated outreach to help state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to adopt the .gov domain, improving cybersecurity and trust in public services across the United States.”

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