By Claudine Beaumont
Paul Kane, an entrepreneur who is chief executive of CommunityDNS, an internet management company, is one of seven individuals issued with a ‘key’ to restart the web in the event of it being knocked offline by a terrorist attack or other catastrophic event.
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.
Kane said he was “honoured” and “excited” to have been entrusted with the task. His company is one of a team of specialists that has spent the last decade creating a security system, known as DNSSEC, that companies can use to make their websites more secure.
The keyholders would be able to reboot these secure systems that underpin some of the internet to ensure web users are directed only to genuine websites.