Who controls the internet? Conspiracy theorists might say “the man,” hip-hop fans might say the Illuminati and Republicans might say Obama, but in all actuality there are seven keys that control the internet — all held by different people.
The internet keymasters each have extensive backgrounds and are experts in security. They have been meeting since 2010 and hail from opposite ends of the world including China, Czech Republic, and Canada. Each person holds a key, an actual literal key, to the internet.
The keymasters are:
- Paul Kane (Britain)
- Dan Kaminsky (United States)
- Jiankang Yao (China)
- Moussa Guebre (Burkina Faso)
- Bevil Wooding (Trinidad and Tobago)
- Ondrej Sury (Czech Republic)
- Norm Ritchie (Canada)
These are the people who know your bank account numbers, your dog’s name and the name of that stupid hipster restaurant you visited for lunch. Except that’s not true at all. They’ve never said they know everything about you but they do have a very special job.
They are part of an organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is responsible for assigning numerical addresses to websites and computers and translating them to the web addresses that you use. For example, if not for the keymasters you would have to remember and type in 72.34.958.455 instead of unicornbooty.com. That would be the case for any and every website you wanted to visit.
Apparently the whole key ceremony is very hush-hush and requires a series of locked doors, mazes and codes to get to a room so secure that you couldn’t even Instagram what you’re doing. James Ball of the Guardian went to a key ceremony back in 2014 and wrote, in great detail, about how it all went down.
Basically the keymasters stop malicious websites, make sure you’re not putting your personal information into fake scam sites and attempt to prevent hackers in a meeting that takes place every three months. To make things more exciting we’ll say they see you when you’re sleeping and know when you’re awake — wait, that’s Santa Claus — but you get it: they control the world wide webiverse and are very important people.
Watch this video of the key ceremony:
(featured image via Richard-G)