OK, you can quit yawning. As soon as you heard the phrase “US Government websites”, you probably thought I was going to take you on a riveting ride through the complexities of the Internal Revenue Service. Au contraire, mon ami. Perhaps you didn’t realise until now that there are actually some really smoking hot websites built and maintained by the US Federal Government with your tax dollars.
Being a true-crime fan, the FBI website is a regular stop for me. Not only does the FBI use their site as a recruitment tool but they also discuss closed cases and they take you “behind the scenes” so to speak to let you see how the Feds cracked the case. Here is a good example.
But what really makes the FBI website stand out is how much you can download. Scattered throughout the site are PDF downloads of cases, forensic science subjects and much more. All now we need is a FBI badge generator and an alien costume and we can play Mulder and Scully!
At first glance, you might think there isn’t much to the CIA website but there are some interesting sections.
For example, take a virtual tour through CIA Headquarters, view an encrypted monument at Langley to see if you can break the code, go on a virtual tour around the CIA Museum, but the best feature of all is the annually updated CIA World Factbook. Never be bad at geography ever again. You can even download a copy of the Factbook free of charge.
But if you’re looking for files on who killed JFK, you’ll be disappointed.
One of the most famous libraries in the world and now it’s online. Browse through documents and collections. “American Memory” provides access to documents, maps, audio, video and photos. Search through past and current legislation making its way through Congress. Oh and if you’re planning a personal visit to the LOC, check out what they are currently exhibiting.
For those with an interest in history, this site is a must-go-to. The amount of information available here to view and to download is just staggering. So it’s impossible to cover it all here. A few highlights though –
As well as a true-crime fan, I am also a Trekkie, so NASA is another of my favourite websites. View the Interactive Features section to see space-related material including photos, slide shows, videos and podcasts. Subscribe by RSS feed to “NASA Image of the Day”, view the and read up on past and current missions. One small step for me, one big download for my PC.
Do you have a favourite government website not included in the list above? Tell us about it in the comments!