Seven People Have Been Entrusted With The Keys To The Internet

Illustration for article titled Seven People Have Been Entrusted With The Keys To The Internet

These smart cards are the actual keys to the Internet. There are seven of them and they hold the power to restarting the world wide web "in the event of a catastrophic event."


The basic idea is that in the event of an Internet catastrophe, the DNSSEC (domain name system security) could be damaged or compromised and we'd be left without a way to verify if a URL is pointing to the correct website. That's when the holders of these smart cards would be called into action:

A minimum of five of the seven keyholders – one each from Britain, the U.S., Burkina Faso, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, China, and the Czech Republic – would have to converge at a U.S. base with their keys to restart the system and connect everything once again.

A minimum of five people is needed because each of the smart cards contains only a fraction of the recovery key necessary to set things right again. This means that no single person will hold all the power to resetting our little cyber world. [BBC via PopSci]


Honey? Have you seen my key to the Internet?... It's a card... It has a little gold thing thing on it. Someone wrote on it in Sharpie... I don't know why they wrote on it... Yes, that does seem like an odd thing to do. Please, honey, focus. Have you seen it? It's importa... No, I'm not being short with you.... Yes, I understand that you can't check your email, that's why I need the key to the Internet... No, I don't think you're an idiot... Yes, you do have things that are important to do. I have things that are important to do, too. Like find th... Let's not get into a discussion about who has more important things to do... The junk drawer?... The one on the right... It's stuck... Jiggle it... I am jiggling... Look why don't you come over here... Clicking the mouse repeatedly won't make the Internet come back, come over here and help!... I'm sorry... I know... I know... Your trying to... I didn't mean to yell... There the drawer is open... It's not in here... Yes, I pulled everything out... Pull the drawer out... It might have fallen behind... HERE IT... wait... no... It's just a gift card for Circuit City... No, you can't use it to order yourself a new computer online right now... First of all, Circuit City went bankrupt... Yes, a couple years ago... Yes, I understand why, too... No, no one else will accept it online either... Because of the Internet and the catastrophe and the thing... That's why I need the card. Plus, you don't need a new computer... You do?... Because of the email... Look. Just forget I said anything...