The internet is controlled by seven people

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Following the recent outrage over Lieberman’s failed internet kill-switch proposal, seven "keys" to restart the internet were dispersed among seven chosen people across the globe, including Paul Kane of Bath, England (pictured above, right).

Kane, chief executive of a internet management company called CommunityDNS, controls the internet of Western Europe, which is not a pernicious or hilarious thing to say at all. The other six names have been released to the public, too, though you’re unlikely to recognize them. (The coven of seven have been chosen for their intelligence, competence, fortitude, humility, rank, and probably for heading some kind of new media conglomerate.) The operation is orchestrated by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

So what’s the protocol? What happens if we do, in fact, have to restart the internet?

The ‘key’ is in fact two smart cards embedded with a fragment of a security code. If the internet crashes, Kane will have to travel to a secure location in the United States, along with five of the six other designated key-holders, in order to recover the master signing key, which will reboot the web.

If any of the keyholders are unable to travel to the top-secret location, a series of spare key cards are held on site, and can be used by designated personnel in the event of an emergency. Telegraph