The Internet Is Actually Controlled By 14 People Who Hold 7 Secret Keys
If someone were to gain control of ICANN's database that person would control the Internet. For instance, the person could send people to fake bank websites instead of real bank websites.On the other hand, if a calamity happened, the ICANN database could need to be rebuilt. So ICANN came up with a way to do that without entrusting too much control to any one person. It selected seven people to be key holders and gave each one an actual key to Internet. It selected seven more people to be backup keyholders: 14 people in all.
The physical keys unlock safety deposit boxes stashed around the world. Inside those boxes are smart keycards. Put the seven smartcards together and you have the "master key." The master key is really some computer code, a password of sorts, that can access the ICANN database.Four times a year since 2010 the seven keyholders meet for the key ceremony where they generate a new master key, i.e. a new password. The security to be admitted to the ceremony is intense, Ball reports, and involves passing through a series of locked doors using key codes and hand scanners, until entering a room so secure that no electronic communications can escape it.
The group conducts the ritual, then each person files out of the room one by one, and then they all head to a restaurant and party.
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