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Obama Highlights IPv6 Issue 442

alphadogg writes "The Obama Administration bills itself as the most tech-savvy political team ever, but until now it has ignored one of the biggest issues facing the Internet: the rapid depletion of IPv4 Internet addresses and the imminent need for carriers and content providers to adopt IPv6. Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will host a workshop on IPv6 that features high-profile executives from government, industry and Internet policymaking organizations. Some observers are hoping the Obama Administration will use the workshop to issue a deadline for all federal agencies to support IPv6 on their public-facing Web sites."
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Obama Highlights IPv6 Issue

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  • Deadline (Score:5, Funny)

    by pete-classic ( 75983 ) <> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @01:36PM (#33725070) Homepage Journal

    I heard he's going to mandate that all Federal agencies cut over to IPv6 by the time they close Gitmo.


    • Already Run Out (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WED Fan ( 911325 )
      Weren't all addresses supposed to be gone by now? That's problem with doomsday predictions IPv4, warming, God, it never happens as scheduled and then people just ignore you next time you start predicting. If we were more temperate about our predictions, people wouldn't dismiss them as more of the same "sky-is-falling" crapola.
      • agreed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @02:03PM (#33725542) Homepage Journal

        and you see this in all sorts of problems in life, from coworker's agendas, to politicians and their bombast:

        you can win attention in the short term by describing a threat in worse language than it actually is

        but by doing that, you pay the longterm cost of people just not trusting what you say anymore

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by h4rm0ny ( 722443 )

          but by doing that, you pay the longterm cost of people just not trusting what you say anymore

          Well now that's why you swap presidents / parties every now and then. It gives you a chance to sweep away everybody's accumulated distrust in the old let and put in a clean new hope for everyone to start again with.

          Of course, that could wear thin eventually, in which case you'd probably get a generation that had no faith in the entire political system. But let's hope that doesn't happen.

      • You mean like how "they" always assume worst case?

        Peak Oil will hit in 2005 they told us, but that year came and went. They should have used a more conservative estimate and said 2030 will be the year, instead of going with worst case. IPv4 will probably run out in 2020 +/- a year or two.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by vlm ( 69642 )

          Peak Oil will hit in 2005 they told us, but that year came and went. They should have used a more conservative estimate and said 2030 will be the year, instead of going with worst case.

          Peak oil is an interesting example. You see, peak oil in the USA was in something like 1967. Mexico has been in oil production decline since 2006.

          Similarly, it will be interesting to watch ipv4 addrs run out. Perhaps ARIN will run out before APNIC, or vice versa. That will be an interesting time to watch.

        • For an estimate made in the mid 50s, it was astonishingly accurate. Remember that was prior to the 70s and OPEC or the modern increases in fuel effiency.

          Remember, just because you think you know better than the experts doesn't necessarily mean that you do. For estimates that were made when they were, those estimates proved to be quite good. The only reason we haven't run out of IPv4 addresses yet is the rampant abuse of NAT and reuse of various blocks of private IPs.
      • Re:Already Run Out (Score:5, Informative)

        by kestasjk ( 933987 ) * on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @02:07PM (#33725608) Homepage
        To be honest the whole "addresses are running out" thing is just a way to sell IPv6 to laypeople, because "we have 4 billion addresses and over 6 billion people" is so easy to understand.

        In reality it's about getting rid of the restrictions of needing network address translation, allowing devices to be accessible by one address anywhere, unifying different forms of addressing like phone numbers, IPv4 addresses, multicast/anycast addresses, etc all into one address space, making routing more efficient, making autoconfiguration more seamless, getting built-in cryptography, etc, etc, etc.
        Addresses running out is, for the reasons you give and more, really not what it's about, but it is a bit heart-wrenching to see tech-savvy people say we shouldn't go for IPv6 because we're not really running out; we aren't, but we still need to go for IPv6, and if tech-savvy people don't have one mind on this issue it'll take far longer than it should.
      • by afabbro ( 33948 )

        Weren't all addresses supposed to be gone by now?

        What will likely happen is that the price of an IPv4 address will rise (it hasn't). As it does, people holding blocks of ipv4 will release them - for example, I think HP has two Class As. Merck has a Class A. Etcetera - the main reason they hold on to them at this point is that they don't want to pay the cost of migrating to a 10.x. At some point, they will become valuable enough that these holders will move (and also Class Bs, etc.)

        The price equilibrium will see-saw for a while (price rises, people re

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Its never been as huge a looming problem as first predicted thanks to NAT.
      • by bbn ( 172659 )

        Weren't all addresses supposed to be gone by now? That's problem with doomsday predictions IPv4, warming, God, it never happens as scheduled and then people just ignore you next time you start predicting. If we were more temperate about our predictions, people wouldn't dismiss them as more of the same "sky-is-falling" crapola.

        No. That is the problem with people getting the warning early. You simply can't handle it. We said in 10 years, but now you keep saying each year, why has it not happened yet?!. Well duh, because the 10 years not over yet!.

        The actual date is May 2011. This should be a short enough timespan that even normals can figure out it is going to happen real soon now.

    • Within the DoD (and perhaps other departments are the same), there has for a few years already been somewhat of a IPv6 compliance policy. Basically all it is currently is purchase orders are more likely to be approved if you check the "IPv6 capable" box when you submit it. It means nothing currently.

      Also, who the hell cares if government websites support IPv6? That's not going to cause people to pressure their ISPs to cut over.

      "Customer Service, how may I help you?"
      "When are you going to support IPv6 - I

  • NAT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FuckingNickName ( 1362625 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @01:37PM (#33725080) Journal

    Can we at least all agree that NAT is evil, and destroys one of the nicest features of TCP/IP (and a free Internet): it creates a network of peers?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by crazygeek02 ( 915165 )
      Logical thought has no place on the internets.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      IPv6 still has NAT, dude. This just means we get to use it when we want it, instead of being forced into using it due to address shortages.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        There actually isn't any need for NAT with IPV6. Each public address will have 64000 addresses available to do the equivilent of nat'ing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by FranTaylor ( 164577 )

          Yes, there still is a need for NAT if you don't like showing the world how many hosts you have behind your firewall.

          • Re:NAT (Score:5, Informative)

            by silas_moeckel ( 234313 ) <silas AT dsminc-corp DOT com> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @01:55PM (#33725386) Homepage

            And why would you need nat for that? Inbound scans can be blocked by the firewall on the router. Outbound traffic sniffing needs to approximate anyways either by looking at the IP's in use or how fast the ports change in NAT (PAT really). NAT has never been anything but security through obscurity over a standard firewall.

          • by jd ( 1658 )

            And you don't use Squid or SOCKS5 why? There's plenty of ways to hide the hosts without using NAT. And hosts that don't need a direct connection to the Internet can be hidden via virtual circuits (MPLS for Linux has been out for some time), if you don't want to use a proxy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AxemRed ( 755470 )
          Unless Comcast decides to give me more IP addresses for free just because they can, I will have a need for NAT.
    • There are many situations that will still require NAT on IPv6. It won't go away.
      • There are many situations that will still require NAT on IPv6.

        Such as?

        • by jd ( 1658 )

          Hard to say. MobileIP and NEMO allows a computer of one address to receive packets for a different address. Proxy servers (such as Squid) handle most other cases I can think of. Tunnels (IPSec) and Virtual Circuits (MPLS) handle most of the rest. I can think of no useful purpose for NAT given the non-NAT ways of achieving all of the results NAT provides.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Eventually, every network gets subdivided at some piece of equipment, be it a transparent bridge or router somewhere. The idea of being a "peer" is an imaginary one really - other than boxes plugged into the exact same switch or router on the same subnet, you're doing a network traversal somewhere. NAT makes this traversal more explicit, perhaps, but evil?

      Hell, if you really want other "peers", there's all kinds of VPN stuff you can do that will effectively give you the same thing.

      • Because most people are thinking of PAT rather than NAT. And NAT is usually used as an N:M mapping where there isn't a guarantee that the IP on one side resolves to one and only one IP on the other.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slapout ( 93640 )

      There are quite a few "peers" I don't want connecting to my network.

  • by slaxative ( 1867220 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @01:39PM (#33725114)
    Coming up next ... our monthly reminder of ipv4's demise. How many stories can you guys come up with that basically dance around the same issue? We know its happening, now we're just waiting for everyone to catch up and get compliant.
  • by thestudio_bob ( 894258 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @01:47PM (#33725252)

    Gee, I hope while they are at it, they can make sure they can track all the content, every citizen and device that get's "plugged" into the internet.

    Hopefully, they are bringing in the vast collective knowledge of the **IA's to ensure that the rest of the world is represented as well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alta ( 1263 )

      Interesting point... getting rid of nat is going to put a lot of machines out on the internet that are currently hiding behind NAT. Once that's done all those NSA backdoors are now available where before there was no route to host... Before they had to own the NAT device, then the machine. Not as though that's a problem for them, its just an inconvenience.

      • by dpilot ( 134227 )

        Consider that today if anyone owns our NAT devices, it's China. If there are any hidden backdoors on them, they're Chinese. Or did you think that the electronics inside that slick, cheap plastic box were US made? Last I heard, the most common commodity router gut-maker was Xyxel, a Chinese company. Makes you wonder how often the NSA goes to Best Buy, gets a NAT box, and reverse-engineers it, just to see what's really happening inside. Then it makes you wonder about the idea of pre-owning only a fractio

  • ten years? don't you love governments: moving at their own speed even while the world races ahead of them.

    part of me is surprised that they haven't explicitly prevented agencies from getting too far ahead of the curve.

    guess all that ipv6 compatible equipment will finally come in handy!
  • If I was in the US Government I would lean on mobile vendors like Apple, Google, AT&T, etc to ONLY support IPv6 for mobile devices (e.g. Android, iPhone, etc). That way you start to carve out a real consumer base with IPv6. If web-sites want to get iPhone users to their service they better support IPv6 ASAP.

    Microsoft already has strong IPv6 support in Windows as does Linux. So there is no reason why ISPs couldn't switch over at any time but the issue is a chicken and egg problem with it being expens
    • Carrier support comes first. Making AT&T, Verizon do it will force phone/OS manufacturers (Apple, Google, etc.) to implement it on their OSes. It won't work the other way around. In either case, apparently Verizon is requiring IPv6 for LTE devices [].

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      There is no need for the US govt. to step in, the mobile carriers are already pushing pretty hard. Let me quote T-Mobile USA's Cameron Byrne []:

      Our users are going to access your content over IPv6. The only relevant question is 'will we make the AAAA record or will you'?

      Here's their motivation:

      T-Mobile USA makes heavy use of NAT44 and bogon addresses. Going forward, this isn't sustainable. So they've decided that future cellular deployments will be IPv6-only, with NAT64 to access the "legacy" IPv4 Internet. (

  • Not bloody likely. There's little chance that he has the foggiest notion what an IP number is (well, he may have a foggy notion, but it is almost certainly wrong).

    • Since when was subject knowledge a requirement to politicians?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by j h woodyatt ( 13108 )

      The original article actually points out the real problem that the headline misrepresents. The real problem is that the Obama administration is almost comically clueless about Internet engineering issues related to governance.

  • tech-savvy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slapout ( 93640 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @02:08PM (#33725610)

    tech-savvy != good leadership

  • Sigh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @02:32PM (#33726062) Journal

    Where's Jon Postel when you need him...

  • We would all be flush with IPv10 and Al Gore would have a harem of massage women. Woo Hoo

    • Yes, because if there are two things this planet needs urgently, they are definitely 10^2048 IP addresses and images of Al Gore sleeping with women.

  • by imidan ( 559239 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @03:54PM (#33727400)

    Actually, the article is trolling, too, I think. The issue here is not whether Obama is personally interested in IPv6. As someone above (who got modded troll) mentioned, Obama, himself, probably knows very little about TCP/IP, IPv4, NAT, and IPv6. It's the NTIA that's running this workshop. Printing a headline that says 'Obama' is highlighting IPv6 is just begging to turn the conversation into a bunch of partisan bullshit re: 'hope and change', Obama's personal technical competency, etc. Looking at the thread, this is exactly what happened. And that's trolling (or maybe flamebait).

    Then again, it seems like we've pretty much run the whole 'IPv4 addresses running out ZOMG' topic into the ground, too. I guess it's nice to see that the feds are approaching the issue. But there's not really any controversy in 'Federal Government Explores Adopting Updated Technology'. So we make it into a partisan political issue in order to provoke responses? Bleagh.

  • by FoolishOwl ( 1698506 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @04:04PM (#33727538) Journal

    I was visiting my father-in-law in Canada, and we were driving through northern Ontario. I'd gotten used to all the street signs in metric by then, and I was surprised to see an old highway sign with a distance in miles. My father-in-law pointed out that Canada had converted to the metric system in 1977, based upon the US plan to convert to the metric system in 1976.

    I worked for a blueprint printing company for several years. One issue that often came up was difficulties in rescaling blueprints for different page sizes, as the arbitrary sheet sizes that were standard each had different ratios of length to width. As a political activist, I also often designed flyers; scaling flyers to half-size always came out ugly. One day, I happened to read up on ISO paper sizes, and how they were all based upon ratios of one to the square root of two, which meant that ratios were uniform and rescaling was easy. Apparently, ISO paper sizes are the standard used everywhere but in the US and a few countries in Latin America; Canada prints in US sizes because of the scale of the US market. The ratio of one to the square root of two was proposed early in the history of printing, centuries ago.

    As I understand, all modern operating systems have native support for IPv6, and have had such support for years; part of the impetus is that the US Federal government had, at some point, announced a policy requiring any software it used to support IPv6. From what I can make out, it's the ISPs that are dragging their heels on implementing technology that's been tested and ready to deploy for years.

    I can understand hesitancy to deploy radical new ideas. However, I don't understand the hesitancy to deploy ideas that have been tested exhaustively, deployed, and used widely.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.