The new IP protocol that allows the internet to continuing working rolled out earlier this month. But it seems that it might have another draw back. US law enforcement agencies are worried that it could be abused in intriguing new ways of online crime.
The American Registry for Internet Numbers will be handing out new addresses on a much less regular schedule, every 10 to 15 years that is, and that will mean ISPs have far less incentive to keep their public IP addresses up to date. So how does this translate into crime? An FBI spokesperson explained:
"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."
This means that law enforcement agencies might have a tougher job in policing the internet and tracing IP addresses through publicly available logs, which in turn require them to file subpoenas or court orders to gain information from internet service providers.