In the event a cyber attack cripples the World Wide Web, seven members of a “chain of trust” have been given the responsibility of restarting the Internet, with each individual armed with a key.
The key holders include one member from each of the following countries: Britain, the U.S., Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, China, Burkina Faso and the Czech Republic.
According to PopSci.com, five of the seven would need to gather at a U.S. base with their keys in order to restart the Internet.
PopSci further described the keys:
The keys are actually smartcards that each contain parts of the DNSSEC root key, which could be thought of as the master key to the whole scheme. But it is interesting to know that there is a group of individuals out there that hold actual, physical keys that would reboot the Internet as we know it.
A video on the CommunityDNS website shows the keys and provides more background information on how they function. CDNS CEO Paul Kane was appointed by ICANN as one of the seven individuals, dubbed Trusted Community Representatives (TCR).