China’s internet architecture

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China’s internet infrastructure if for sure a lot censored. You are not allowed to visit a lot of web sites due to either security issues, or due to vulgarity. There may be political reasons for these censorships as well, but I am not sure of that. But the infrastructure is supposed to be the best, and way better than the infrastructure in the western part of the world, according to a recent report from the New England Complex Systems Institute. This is mainly because of two reasons.

The report was compiled way back in 2008, but it has been released to the public only now. The first which makes the Chinese internet much better is that the infrastructure uses a security feature known as Source Address Validation Architecture (SAVA). This feature puts security checkpoints throughout the system and then builds up a database very systematically. This database will contain trusted computers and their IP addresses. This system will then authenticate who is sending what. This way, the possibility of sending malicious data becomes a lot difficult, near impossible, like many say. Gizmodo writes, “It’s a system that Steve Wolff, one of the Internet’s founding fathers, tells New Scientist “should be much more widely adopted.””

The second point to be noted is the IPv6 adoption. Most parts of the world, even developed parts, use IPv4 still, and the number of addresses that can be assigned using IPv4 is growing less and less. But in China, where there are so many people and almost all of them want to use the internet, assigning IP addresses is a big issue. So the nation has been working on IPv6 for some time now. Donald Riley, an information systems specialist at the University of Maryland put it this way to New Scientist:

“China has a national internet backbone in place that operates under IPv6 as the native network protocol. We have nothing like that in the US.”

Source: Gizmodo