Elders of the Internet

How do I miss these things? It seems that seven people hold the keys to the internet – chosen to restart it if something breaks the domain name system and, I don’t know, stops phishing phraudsters pretending to be your bank account.

Apparently a restart requires five of the seven key holders to bring their smartcards to a secret location in the US, from their home countries of Britain, the US, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, China, the Czech Republic and… Burkina Faso. (For those who don’t know, Burkina Faso is a landlocked African country; it used to be called Upper Volta, its capital city is Ougadougou and its main industry is lint.)

This is a fantastic opportunity for any lonely nerds out there. Despite the fact that some key holders have come forward, no one really knows who they all are. So all you need to do is mock up your own fake smartcard, and you finally have the key to attention and respect.

“Yeah baby, it’s true, I’m one of the seven secret lords of the internet. Me and Al Gore. But don’t tell anybody: it’s a secret.” (To be read in a Burkina Faso accent.)

But of course, this is old news. The truth about the hidden elders was revealed two years ago, in that excellent documentary series, The IT Crowd:

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