Government agencies do not like citizens having greater privacy. This is why they are in panic mode. The new generation of Internet addresses will enable people to gain far greater privacy.
The U.S. and Canada have warned that they will not be able to snoop as cheaply as before. Oh, woe!
The new system is called IPv6. It will make it more difficult for agencies to trace who is using which electronic address.
Which agencies are worried? The FBI, the Drug Administration Administration, and the Mounties. They have sent word to large Internet firms that they must be able to trace people. Some people are suspects. They must not be allowed to slip out of the digital net.
The companies are being told that they must comply voluntarily or else laws will be passed. In short, either comply without compulsion or else! Or else what? Compulsion. C/Net reports:
This IPv6-related effort comes as the FBI is redoubling its efforts to combat what it calls the “Going Dark” problem, meaning that its surveillance capabilities may diminish as technology advances. CNET was the first to report last month that the bureau had formed a Domestic Communications Assistance Center to keep abreast of technological changes that may otherwise imperil government surveillance.
Private site registry firms maintain public data bases. But because they hand out blocks of addresses once every decade, it will be harder to trace who owns what.
It will take government agencies longer to trace who owns what.
An FBI spokesman told CNET that the bureau is concerned about IPv6 because:
An issue may also arise around the amount of registration information that is maintained by providers and the amount of historical logging that exists. 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.
Most Internet providers are saying nothing. It’s safe to say nothing.
The new policies are not yet drawn up.
Only about one-third of the providers have automated data bases.
All of this points to the reality of the new technologies. Some of them lend themselves to government snooping. Others do not.
The crucial fact is this: the government agencies do not have enough trained people to do anything with the mountain of digital data. They are being overwhelmed.
Lots of needles. Lots of haystacks.