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Security through obscurity

GSA's list of 4,657 .gov domain names remains state secret

Despite a presidential promise of openness in government from President Obama, General Services Administration officials are refusing to release a list of 4,657 .gov domains for fear of cyberattack, according to Information Week.

Asked in a Freedom of Information Act request to provide a list of the .gov domains, including the agency registering the domain, Information Week reported that GSA declined, claiming that "release of the requested sensitive but unclassified information presents a security risk to the top level Internet domain enterprise."

The decision comes despite a directive from the White House to agency heads in January that FOIA requests should be decided in favor of openness.

In January, there were 4,657 .gov domains, a number that, according to the GSA, has been growing at a rate of about 10 percent annually for the past few years,  Information Week said. Some 1,724 of the domains are associated with federal agencies and 2,424 are associated with cities and counties. Native American tribes have about 107. A list of .gov domains from 2002 contained 1,491 domain names.

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