FBI worried about new IP scheme

With the recent unveiling of the newest Internet protocol system, trillions upon trillions of devices are being paved access to the Internet for the unforeseeable future. And right on cue, the FBI is already up in arms over IPv6.

If you were to do a little casual searching for something that could relate to criminals or terrorists you might show up on the FBI's radar, and tools that have been in place for years let them associate your computer's IP address with a name, company or location. But a new Internet protocol threatens existing methods, and the FBI warns that unless existing Internet management companies make some changes, it will become far more difficult to track down criminals the way they do today.

IPv6 is a new version of the numbering system that underlies Internet addresses. The previous version has actually run out of unique numbers to issue for websites and servers, but the new one is much more future-proof. The problem is that existing bookkeeping methods for recording and retaining IP addresses aren't going to be sufficient for the new system.

As an FBI spokesman tells CNET:

Today there are complete registries of what IPv4 addresses are "owned" by an operator. Depending on how the IPv6 system is rolled out, that registry may or may not be sufficient for law enforcement to identify what device is accessing the Internet.


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