Information Warfare: June 19, 2003


Beginning October, 2003, all new communications equipment purchased for the U.S. Department of Defenses Global Information Grid (GIG) must be compatible with the new Internet standard (IPv6). The old standard (IPv4) was somewhat lax in supporting security and has been partly responsible for many of the security problems on the Internet. IPv4 has been used since the 1970s. The Department of Defense is the largest purchaser of Internet hardware and software in the world, and their decision to go ahead with IPv6 is expected to force everyone else to do the same. The GIG is the Department of Defenses worldwide battlefield Internet, and IPv6's security features will make the GIG harder to hack into or otherwise disrupt. By 2008, the entire Internet should be using IPv6, which will provide more reliable service and more Internet addresses (critical for some parts of the world that are running out of IP addresses for new users). The Department of Defense encrypted (and separate from the public Internet), SIPRNET, will also switch over to IPv6, as will over government networks using Internet technology.


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