When we talk about internet, we rarely think of security in tangible terms. That’s only natural because digital security is virtual for the most part. However, now it appear that the internet is controlled by 7 secret keys.
ICANN stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and is the most influential internet regulatory organization. ICANN is supposed to allocate the IP addresses to websites and then use regular URLs to map on to these IPs. In simpler words, you visit whatever address ICANN assigns a site.
This is precisely why ICANN is considered to have immense power when it comes to the realm of internet. However, the organization has devised a unique method to ensure that the organizational security is never compromised. The sole aim is to avoid the breach of ICANN’s precious database at all costs.
In order to keep the power distributive, ICANN has seven secret keys. These are held by seven hand-picked people. The keys unlock safety boxes at different locations around the globe. These safety boxes, in turn, contain smart keycards. Once all seven smart keycards are in one place, they become the ‘master key’ which then unlocks ICANN database.
Interestingly, whenever all seven keys are to be brought together, it happens in the form of a ceremony. The ‘key ceremony’ takes place four times a year, mainly to generate a new master key. James Ball of The Guardian has been able to attend the ceremony as an observer and he has penned down a very interesting article about it.
According to Ball, security at the ceremony is unbelievably thorough. First every attending person goes through a series of locked doors, password-protected entrances and hand scanners. Finally, they go to a room which is so well protected that no form of electronic communications can go out from it. It is here that the so-called ritual occurs. Once the ritual is over, all members exit one by one and then have one helluva party.