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Federal Information Processing Standard

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) are publicly announced standards developed by the United States federal government for use in computer systems by non-military government agencies and government contractors.

FIPS standards are issued to establish requirements for various purposes such as ensuring computer security and interoperability, and are intended for cases in which suitable industry standards do not already exist. Many FIPS specifications are modified versions of standards used in the technical communities, such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The U.S. government has developed various FIPS specifications to standardize a number of topics including:

Some FIPS standards have related to the security of data processing systems. Some of these included the use of key escrow systems.

Some examples of FIPS Codes for geographical areas include FIPS 10-4 for country codes or region codes and FIPS 5-2 for state codes. These codes were similar to or comparable with, but not the same as, ISO 3166, or the NUTS standard of the European Union. In 2002, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) withdrew several geographic FIPS code standards, including those for countries (FIPS 10-4), U.S. states (FIPS 5-2), and counties (FIPS 6-4). These are to be replaced by ISO 3166 and INCITS standards 38 and 31, respectively. Some of the codes maintain the previous numerical system, particularly for states.