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IPv6, 5G and Mesh Networks Heightening Law Enforcement Challenges, Says Australian Government

In a submission to the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement's inquiry into Impact of new and emerging information and communications technology, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) warn law enforcement will be degraded by a number of new technologies. In particular, emerging technologies such as 5G, IPv6, and mesh networking, the agencies warn, will make interception of communications through existing legislation harder. From the report: "The implementation of IPv6 will make it significantly more difficult for law enforcement to use interception powers. The framework will include a native IP security system, which encrypts the content of network communications as a matter of course. These encryption technologies are currently available, however, users require detailed knowledge of networks and configuring these systems is relatively complex. The implementation of IPv6 will make these encryption services easily accessible and transparent to consumers, and significantly increases the amount of encrypted content over internet services." Concerning 5G network technologies, the report says: "At present, law enforcement agencies rely on the unique identifiers associated with an electronic device to lawfully obtain information about the user of said device, including location-based data. Identifiers allow devices to establish a connection with different network towers. 5G will replace the permanent identifier with one which is temporary, destructing after connection to a tower is made. This will make it more difficult for law enforcement to gain information about a person."

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