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There’s va.gov. And Vets.gov. And My HealtheVet. And eBenefits.

What do all of these veteran online websites have in common?

For one, they’re all a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). And second, when you go to their websites, they all end in “.gov.”

That means that they’re all official websites of the federal government (same for ones ending in “.mil”).

There’s this little banner at the top of the homepage, on Vets.gov:

The General Services Administration (GSA) — an independent government agency — is in charge of “.gov” domains, and their Office of Information Integrity and Access oversees the “.gov” domain registry service and runs the “.gov” top-level domain (TLD) used by government entities in the United States.

Per their website:

The service is the backbone for the government’s domain name system, supporting trusted internet transactions, communications and the web presence for the U.S. government.

These sites also use outside contractors, their technology and services to optimize veterans’ experience while using the VA online.

The process for getting the new Veterans Identification Card (VIC), which “provide proof of military service, and may be accepted by retailers in lieu of the standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to veterans”, uses one of these contractors — via a “.gov” site.

This from a VA press release on their website:

To request a VIC, Veterans must visit Vets.gov, click on “Sign In” in the top right hand corner and establish an ID.me account. Once the Veteran verifies their identity they may request to “Apply for the Veteran ID Card”.

ID.me is a veteran-founded company, a digital identity platform, that provides for trusted and convenient interactions between individuals and organizations. In this case, it’s the federal government.

Their platform meets the highest industry standards (NIST 800-63 -2[3], EO 13681, HSPD-12, and FIDO), has FedRAMP** Ready certification and can be found on the FedRAMP Marketplace here.

 

** – FedRAMP is a government-wide program that provides a standard to security assessment, authorization and monitoring. Basically, it makes sure the online tech government agencies are using are secure.