Reply to post: Systematic Identification Tag Management

Internet engineers tear into United Nations' plan to move us all to IPv6

AbeChen

Systematic Identification Tag Management

Thank you for bringing up this topic. The address of a terminal is almost an obscure topic when it works. But, it is actually the fundamental issue for the Internet. In an ideal world of communications, the principle that you described is true. For example, the old fashioned telephony system, PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) does exactly this way. Although not always explicit, a phone number in most countries can be parsed into, Country, Area, City and subscriber code/ number parts. Each is associated with a progressively narrower geographical area, facilitating the efficient switching (equivalent to routing in the Internet) function. However, this is only possible because the phone numbers are traditionally assigned according to the physical locations of the subscribers as they registered with the Telco. To put it simply, this is why emergency locating capabilities such as 911-Service in US can locate a caller even before the call is answered.

In the Internet, each ISP, being allocated a block of IPv4 addresses, assigns addresses to individuals who may be anywhere in the world. Thus, the GeoLocation characteristics of an identification tag is lost. Although IPv6 has tremendously more addresses than IPv4, they seem still carrying on the same practice, as far as I could tell. This is why each ISP now owns multiple of ASNs (Autonomous System Numbers). Each ASN potentially could have IP addresses that are used anywhere in the world. This is, I believe, the root cause to cyber security vulnerabilities, because fundamentally there is no correlation of an IP packet to its physical origination nor destination locality, by just looking at the addresses in the header. This is why it has been so hard to locate the perpetrator of a DoS (Denial of Service) attack, let alone the dDoS (distributed DoS). Allow me to share with you some current work that attempts to deal with these issues.

A few years ago, we accidentally ventured into studying the IPv4 address pool exhaustion challenge, perhaps due to the curiosity from our telephony background. We now have submitted a proposal, called EzIP (phonetic for Easy IPv4) to IETF:

https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-chen-ati-adaptive-ipv4-address-space-03

EzIP will not only resolve IPv4 address shortage issues, but also largely mitigate cyber security vulnerabilities, plus open up new possibilities for the Internet. These should relieve the urgency to move onto the IPv6. Originally, our efforts were inspired by two regularly updated worldwide statistics:

https://ams-ix.net/technical/statistics/sflow-stats/ether-type

https://stats.labs.apnic.net/ipv6

So, we thought that the initial EzIP targets would be emerging regions and rural areas of developed countries where assignable IPv4 addresses are in short supply. A recent article about the Internet activities provided a surprising new perspective:

https://dyn.com/blog/ipv6-adoption-still-lags-in-federal-agencies/

It concluded that the IPv6 adoption even at US Federal Agencies was moving at "a glacial pace". This seems to imply that the entire market for alternatives to the IPv6 approach, such as the EzIP, is now open. The general public should be equally informed of this kind of choices, instead of being led by the existing industrial interests that have been in deployment for nearly a decade. Hopefully, these provide you some updated references to review the subject.

For a brief summary and pardon me for being blunt, if IETF engineers had made the Internet a robust facility without continued "surprises" to the mass, either through IPv4 or IPv6, the ITU consisting of governments of countries representing the citizens / subscribers has no need to get involved. The current ITU participation in the "political fight" is a good sign for the sake of the consuming public's rights.

Feedback and comments are very much appreciated.

Abe (2018-06-24 18:42)

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