The CEO of a UK-based Domain Name Server company, CommunityDNS, has become one of only seven people in the world entrusted with a cryptographic key required to restart the world's internet DNS servers if a catastrophic event occurs.
DNS, or 'Domain Name System' servers are the network of computers that make up what is effectively a constantly updated 'phonebook' that translates the recognisable web addresses we use into the numeric IP addresses used by internet-attached devices.
In the event of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, Paul Kane may be required to travel to the US and meet with five other key holders to recover the master signing key required to 'restart' the internet.
According to the BBC, Kane has retrieved the key from a secure location in the US, and it is now stored in a security deposit box in Bath, UK.
Simon Bond of the city's SETsquared Innovation Centre, said in a statement to the BBC: “It's an honour for Bath to be one of the locations for the 'keys to the internet', and it is an acknowledgement of the strength of our region and the individuals who live here in global internet security.”
In a bid to make the internet a more secure place, regulators have decided to implement a new security system called DNSSEC (domain name system security), which will ensure that people reach an authenticated website rather than a malicious one.