It sounds like something out of a spy thriller, except it’s real: Seven people around the world have been given keys that can restart the Internet in the event of a catastrophe. If needed, for example, after a terrorist attack or other security breach, these people (who received their keys while locked in a US bunker) will meet at a secure location in the US to reboot the system, the BBC reports.
“In reality, it’s not so dramatic,” writes Clay Dillow for Popular Science, explaining that the “keys to the Internet” are really just smartcards. Most servers are part of the Domain Name System Security or DNSSEC, which ensures websites are registered, and connections between servers might be broken to contain damage in the event of an attack. The smartcards “contain parts of the DNSSEC root key, which could be thought of as the master key to the whole scheme,” Dillow explains.