DNSSEC has been ten years or so in the making by British security company CommunityDNS. It’s a security system designed to make sites safer than safe and will see adoption on government websites.
Yesterday evening on Radio 4’s PM programme, CEO Paul Kane of CommunityDNS had a chat with Eddie Mair about the security system. He also revealed that he is one of seven key holders worldwide who will have access to a mainframe out in Nevada where there’s an internet kill-switch, essentially a ctrl, alt, delete in case of major emergency. It’ll only work on sites that incorporate DNSSEC, but he’s been given a role in the “chain of trust”.
He holds one of seven keys worldwide. The idea is that a trusted technology expert from different regions globally owns one of the keys. There are seven in total but just five are needed to activate the internet reboot. It’d only be necessary in the case of a “catastrophic global meltdown”.
Still, the rest of the internet would carry on as normal. It’d only reset websites built around DNSSEC, so while the world is melting as SkyNet launches its nuclear warheads to trigger a war between man and machine you’ll still be able to post your LOLs and ROFLs on 4Chan.
Kane told The Guardian that there will never be just one key: “Never. Even if there was such a key, it would trigger the balkanisation of the internet. The EU wouldn’t want the US to have it, the Middle East wouldn’t want the EU to have it, the US wouldn’t want anyone to have it.” That said, Obama’s got access to a partial internet kill switch in case of emergency, so perhaps the US has the most power already.