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IPv6, The New Wild West.

With the implementation of IPv6 just behind us we are finding things that need addressed and fixed. It seems that at the top of the list is IPv6 traceability. Currently there are organizations that keep track of you has what IP addresses such as the American Registry for Internet Numbers or ARIN. ARIN hands out usable IP addresses to ISP’s about every 3-to-4 months to keep up with the demand for IP addresses. This provides incentive to ISP to keep their WHOIS databases up-to-date because if their database is out of date then they might not be given enough new IP’s to meet their needs.

Currently there are no laws stating that you have to keep your WHOIS database up-to-date. The WHOIS database a tool to lookup the registered user of an IP address. There are other ways to determine who is using an IP address but this can take a very long time.

Now with the IPv6 addresses ARIN will be handing out much larger blocks of IP addresses every 10 to 15 years. This means that ISP’s will have to worry about making sure their Whois database is up-to-date every decade. This is an ideal environment for laziness and bad record keeping.

Law enforcement is worried about not being able to trace the user of an IP address. This can make tracking down Internet predators such as hackers, sexual offenders, and pirates very difficult. Right now there are no regulations that obligate an ISP to keep a WHOIS database let alone keeping it up-to-date, so in a sense it is the lawless like the old Wild West. In the future we might see law enforcement stepping in to create these regulations and appoint a regulatory body.