China’s IPv6 “Highway” Completed: Ending U.S. Cyber Hegemony

Translated from the Headlines (Toutiao 头条新闻)

Author: My meta-universe

Recently, at a press conference of the State Council Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology officially announced that as a national strategy, China’s IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) “highway” has been fully completed, marking the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 in China, and the network is ready, After key stages such as end-to-end connection, it officially entered the era of “traffic increase”.

Promote a network power, accelerate the construction of a digital economy, a digital society, and a digital government, and use digital transformation as a whole to drive changes in production methods, lifestyles, and governance methods to embrace the digital age and help smart China. This is the significance of the comprehensive completion of China’s IPv6 “highway”.

First of all, from a technical point of view, the Internet under the IPv4 version has long been unable to meet the needs of China’s rapid economic and social development. From the perspective of IPv4 addresses alone, the total number is about 4.3 billion, which seems to be huge, but in fact, it has been “basically allocated” around 2014. After upgrading to the IPv6 version, the resources are so many that almost every grain of sand in the world has an IP address. Theoretically, the address resources are “unlimited”.

In 2013, China seized the historical opportunity of upgrading from IPv4 to IPv6 and began to lead the launch of the “Snowman Project”, proposing a complete set of root server solutions and technology systems based on IPv6, facing emerging applications, and autonomously controllable. In June 2015, the “Snowman Project” was officially released at the 53rd session of the International Organization for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

As of November 2017, the “Snowman Project” has completed the establishment of 25 IPv6 root servers in 16 countries around the world (4 of which are deployed in China, including 1 primary root server and 3 secondary root servers). A new pattern of 13 IPv4 roots + 25 IPv6 roots has been formed, laying a solid foundation for the establishment of a multilateral, democratic and transparent international Internet governance system.

At present, Chinese telecommunications companies have completed the IPv6 upgrade of backbone networks, LTE networks, and metropolitan area networks, realizing the IPv6 interconnection and interoperability of 14 backbone network direct connection points across the country. The scale of infrastructure is leading in the world and the IPv6 addresses resources that have been applied for rank first in the world.

Next, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will implement the published “Three-Year Special Action Plan for IPv6 Traffic Increase (2021-2023)” to address the low proportion of commercial Internet applications IPv6, insufficient IPv6 support capabilities for household terminals, and application infrastructure IPv6 service performance needs to be implemented. Strengthen other shortcomings, guide all parties in the industry to accelerate large-scale deployment, improve service capabilities, and coordinate the deepening of IPv6 transformation in the cloud, management, end, and use links to cope with the new challenges brought by the rapid development of digitalization and help Smart China set sail.

Secondly, from a security perspective, the full completion of IPv6 indicates that China has taken the initiative from the “root”, reconstructed the Internet ecology, completely got rid of the risk of being restricted by others, and ended the US cyber hegemony.

We know that the Internet was invented by the United States. Previously, the United States controlled most of the core servers of the entire Internet, including 10 of the 13 root servers in the world, especially the only master root server.

Controlling the root server is equivalent to controlling the “central nervous system” that maintains the normal operation of the Internet. Controlling the main root server is equivalent to controlling the “lifeblood” of the entire Internet. This means that the United States not only controls global Internet access and access to life and death, but can also simply and rudely cut off and paralyze the established websites of various countries, instantly destroying the enemy invisible. It can be said that in the past, especially in the early days of the Internet, almost all countries, including China, had the risk of instantaneous destruction of the Internet.

In fact, as early as the 2003 Iraq War, the United States interrupted the analysis of the Iraqi national top-level domain name “.iq”, and all websites with the suffix “.iq” disappeared from cyberspace in an instant. In October 2020, the United States confiscated 92 Iranian domain names, claiming that these domain names were “illegally used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards of Iran” to spread false information. In June of this year, the US government shut down 36 websites used by Iranian news media on the grounds of “violating sanctions.” This kind of dimensionality reduction cyber attack is a fixed-point eradication of the U.S. public opinion war against Iraq.

Now, after IPv6 is fully completed, China has 4 root servers, including 1 main root server.

Although all tests in the “Snowman Project” are based on the expansion of the previous IPv4 architecture, they are not “starting from a new stove” to rebuild a brand new domain name management system and root server, nor are they “domain name space bifurcation”. In other words, as far as the “Snowman Project” itself is concerned, it has not completely shaken the foundation of America’s position on the Internet.

However, we can still say that China has taken the initiative from the “root” and has completely eliminated the possibility of the United States disconnecting from China. Although China got rid of the risk of being disconnected and destroyed by the United States very early.

Because as early as 2003-2004, China began to create “mirror servers” that can resolve domain names when accessing the Internet, basically without going through the root server of the United States.

Now that China has a real root server, the so-called “disconnection” and “dimension reduction crackdown” are even more nonsense.

At present, the real national security risks we face are the U.S. technological hegemony, military hegemony, dollar hegemony, and the resulting political hegemony. Of course, in the Internet field, there are still risks of network eavesdropping, hacker attacks, etc., which must not be ignored.

Therefore, under the IPv6 version, it is still necessary to comprehensively improve its own security defense capabilities to meet the more stringent privacy and data protection requirements in the future digital era.

(Image source: network)