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[liberationtech] IPv6 good for anonymity

David Conrad drc at
Wed Jun 20 08:10:20 PDT 2012


On Jun 19, 2012, at 1:37 AM, Bernard Tyers - ei8fdb wrote:
> There are already live trials of LTE networks being rolled out in the UK where I am currently living using static addressing for some devices.

Interest. I guess they'll have to have a special profile for (e.g.) iPhones since IOS turns privacy addressing on by default.  

> It's great news for mobile operators for a few reasons. One being IP address allocation (either dynamic or static)  is currently translated into cost for licenses. You purchase a piece of equipment for X (with a theoretical maximum capacity of 1, 000, 000 active subscribers), then you have to purchase the licensing files to enable capacity on that box - 10k/100k/1, 000, 000 active subs or possibly 1, 000, 000 active PDP contexts. This model will have to change when IPv6 is adopted as it won't make sense anymore.

Yep, however I'm guessing the vendors will come up with other metrics for licensing fees (:-)).

> Also, it will (might?) do away with the carrier grade NATing equipment/features used to translate all of the private IP space of mobile devices.

I guessing there will, for the foreseeable future, always be a requirement for NAT since the IPv4 Internet isn't going away anytime soon. The only thing IPv6 does in this regard is add another vector for NAT to occur (that is, devices on a v6-only network will also need to translate IP as well as address).

> Like I said I'm not an IPv6 expert, but the new features available in IPv6, and their application in mobile networks makes me think auditing will be much easier.

It'll be interesting to see how privacy concerns play out -- I see a tension between operators (who like the simplicity static assignment provides) and the (relatively few) people who don't want their IP address to be used to track them. I am pessimistic that privacy will win.


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