In fact, 14 people are responsible for the stability of the world. And there are the chairs!

It turns out that the Internet is controlled by a handful of people who have in their hands the secret keys that provide a high degree of protection and, therefore, the working capacity of the World Wide Web. It seems like a fantasy of the books of Dan Brown, but it is the pure truth. has figured out who are the crypto-guards and what are their functions.

But before, a small example. In October of 2016, hackers were able to send so much traffic to the us company Dyn that the servers were not able to receive it. The attack caused, for several hours, dozens of large sites are not available, including the world-famous Twitter and Amazon.

And this despite the fact that Dyn is just one of the many DNS providers. The hackers never gained control of the entire network, but the failure of only one of its elements showed how much the Internet depends on the DNS, because it is a domain name system that translates web addresses easy to remember for people (such as, into the numeric IP addresses that computers use to identify the web pages. That is why it is so important for all this to work without interruptions.

The DNS is protected by a small group of crypto-guards from different parts of the world. From 2010, we meet every three months to carry out a ritual known as a “key ceremony” (the ceremony of the key): verify and update the keys to the padlock metaphor of the Internet.

The participants of the ceremony are part of the ICANN, the Corporation for Assignment of Names and IP Numbers on the Internet. The same is responsible for assigning numerical addresses of the network to web sites and computers. It is easy to guess: if someone gets control of the database of ICANN, will control, in great measure throughout the Internet world.

The principles of the system of safety of the ICANN consist of not trusting the full control to a single person, and change the addresses and the passwords regularly. The 7 top headlines are the actual keys to the Internet, while the other half of the group has additional keys. In total, there are about 14 people. In 2014, the journalist of The Guardian, James Ball wrote a great story about these people.

The physical keys open safes with smart cards. To obtain access to the device which generates the master key, requires the presence of at least 3 crypto-officers: that is the amount that is needed to unlock the computer that protects the DNS. The master key is, in reality, a type of computer code, a kind of password that opens the access to the database of ICANN’s principal.

The security level of the ceremony is very high. Several doors, which lead to the room X, are opened using codes and scanners. In addition to the crypto-officers, meet other officials and observers of ICANN. The event is broken down step-by-step advance, with which the slightest deviation will immediately be noticed by the rest. They say that tas fulfill this mission of high responsibility, they all go to celebrate at a nearby restaurant.

The Internet, in its entirety, does not belong to any organization. As is well known, was invented in the united States, but in 2016 the country refused to administer it. Now, the company officially responsible for doing so is ICANN. Conscious of its international role and the overall trust that was placed on their shoulders, the company publishes in advance the script of the ceremony on the web, and allows you to either follow the process through a direct transmission line.

How this looks in real life

This is Fadi Chehade, the president and CEO of the corporation ICANN.

And this is how we see the offices of ICANN, located near Los Angeles.

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