Welcome to the home page of Charles N Wyble. Charles is a 24 year old systems guy, hacker and entrepreneur currently living in El Monte CA, with his wife of 3 years.

He is currently employed as a system engineer for Ripple TV with responsibility for a nation wide advertising network.

In his spare time he serves as Chief Technology Officer for the SoCalWiFI.net project, runs a hacker space in the San Gabriel Valley and tries to save the local economy.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Change.gov ... let's change to follow the law shall we?

An e-mail I sent to the GSA:

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.

Charles Wyble
Chief Technology Officer
Known Element Enterprises - Corporate

Update 11/7/2008 07:49

First let me thank everyone for there support and encouragement! I will make sure to keep everyone updated on the situation as it develops. I also encourage everyone to send an e-mail to fraudnet@gsa.gov Feel free to use my e-mail text if you like. :)

Second thank you to Michelle Malkin for the link and the additional comments on the domain. Please see her post here.


Sarolite said...

I think this is petty, and I think that change.gov meets the standard as a federal level program much like presidentialtransition.gov.

Presidentialtransition.gov is a resource for candidates on how to transition. Change.gov is a resource for the public on how we'll transition.

Relax. ;)

Charlie said...

Interesting... have you considered CCing the GAO?

Denise said...

Charles - just linked in from Michelle Malkin. Thank you for following up on this. Please update us on any response you get and let us know who to contact so we can flood their office with complaints.

Would be good to know who is responsible for enforcing this law....since after Obama becomes President, all 'inconvenient' laws will be out the window!

Anonymous said...

Any response yet? Please update us.

Joaquin said...

Yes, please update if or when you get a response.

Derek Buranen said...

Cabinet-level U.S. governmental entities are allowed. Change.gov is the website of the President Elect. This seems valid enough.

Anonymous said...

@derek the president elect isn't a cabinet level entity. :)

a top level .gov tld change.gov is not. I have no problem with it being moved to say change.whitehouse.gov etc.

I also will be filing a complaint about http://www.presidentialtransition.gov/ as it's not a valid top level .gov TLD either.

Anonymous said...

Change is not the name of an office, it is a "brand", one that is tied specifically to one president-elect.

I'm all for an official office being created for the incoming president, but until there is one ..., there is no .gov domain (or it hangs off of transition.whitehouse.gov or something like that).

Anonymous said...

@denise you are very welcome. I Contacted fraudnet@gsa.gov to start with. Once I have the process for filing a complaint I will blog it and create a template.

Anonymous said...

@charlie good idea!

Theresa said...

Thanks, Charles! Yes, please keep us all updated on what (if any) response you get. I'd like to send in a complaint myself.

Jadem said...

ACTUALLY it's Presumptive President Elect, since the Electoral College hasn't convened.

RHB... said...

This is at the bottom of the change.gov pages:

Content copyright © 2008 by Obama-Biden Transition Project, a 501c(4) organization. All rights reserved.

This phrase can not be on a .gov web site.

I faxed my Congressman Friday about the situation.

I have sent other sources complaints about the Copyright issue.

I searched the word "change" for Internet domain names, all were already taken. [.com .biz .info and all the others.]

How does a 501c(4)organization get a .gov Domain address?

Please advise

Christopher Smith said...

I hate to say it, but there is a lot of misinformation here. Despite Ed Morrissey's word isn't exactly law. Really, we would all be well served if before going to the trouble of citing a blogger on legal issues, please go check the law itself. Try starting here.

Ever since 1963, the President-elect has indeed been a body in our government, with an office, budget, etc. This has been further updated in minor ways in 2000. Heck, not only are they spending tax payer's money, but they get daily security briefings! As we've learned in the past (specifically with the transitions to Lincoln & FDR), having the President-elect officially tied in to and actively involved with the federal government from the get go is a *good thing* (which is why there are laws requiring it).

The rules for .gov qualification are *NOT* that it be a cabinet-level agency... that would be .fed. Instead, .gov has a pretty broad mandate including "U.S. Governmental departments, programs, and agencies on the federal level".

He is NOT the "Presumptive" President-elect. He's the official President-elect, as the Administrator for the GSA has determined.

This whole thing strikes me as a tempest in a teapot.

Anonymous said...

@chris smith

My main argument is the choice of domain name. It's branding. change isn't a govt program or office or agency is it? :)

Christopher Smith said...

@charles wyble

So first of all, you might check out exactly what Michelle Malkin is saying on her site. It *isn't* that there is a problem with the choice of domain name.

You will note that the naming conventions provide rules for non-federal agencies that are hanging off the .gov domain. So the governor of virginia might be at "governor.virginia.gov" instead of "governor-virginia.gov". There are no conventions for federal programs, which is why you have things like kids.gov and science.gov.

As for the "branding" issue... there is no rule against "branding", nor is this really branding (that would imply a trademark on "change", which seems unlikely to endure much scrutiny). even if it were, government agencies and programs are rife with propagandist titles. Heck "The Department of Defence" is a "brand" by any standard as loose as the one you are applying.

Seriously, this is a made up issue.

RHB... said...

I sent this message to my Congressman today via his online message form:


Complaint about the Obama-Biden Transition Project, a 501c(4) organization using a .gov web address.

Please visit http://www.change.gov and read the Copyright information posted at the bottom of each page.

" Content copyright © 2008 by Obama-Biden Transition Project, a 501c(4) organization. All rights reserved. "

This phrase can not be on a .gov web site.

* How did a 501c(4)organization get a .gov Domain address? Did GSA or any other agency issue this Domain address fraudulently?

Reply requested:

Posted: 11/10/2008

RHB... said...

Change.gov | Contact the Transition


The below message was posted to the change.gov contact web page and submitted on 11/11/08.


Mr. Obama can not have a Copyright posted on the change.gov web site.

" Content copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. "

It was written as the below:
Content copyright © 2008 by Obama-Biden Transition Project, a 501c(4) organization. All rights reserved.

PS: Domain change.gov is not an official U.S. Government web site

Posted: 11/11/2008


Joe Crawford (artlung) said...

In 2000 bushcheneytransition.gov was using a .gov top level domain.

I think your arguments in this matter are quite weak. change.gov is an appropriate usage of a .gov top level domain.

George said...

>since after Obama becomes >President, all 'inconvenient' laws >will be out the window!

Came here after reading Charles' Twitter profile.

Now that I know where I have arrived.. buh-bye.

(Michelle Malkin, Oy)