Tag Archive: World Wide Web


Meet The Seven People Who Hold The Keys To Worldwide Internet Security

 

 

 

 

” In a nondescript industrial estate in El Segundo, a boxy suburb in south-west Los Angeles just a mile or two from LAX international airport, 20 people wait in a windowless canteen for a ceremony to begin. Outside, the sun is shining on an unseasonably warm February day; inside, the only light comes from the glare of halogen bulbs.

  There is a strange mix of accents – predominantly American, but smatterings of Swedish, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese can be heard around the room, as men and women (but mostly men) chat over pepperoni pizza and 75-cent vending machine soda. In the corner, an Asteroids arcade machine blares out tinny music and flashing lights.

  It might be a fairly typical office scene, were it not for the extraordinary security procedures that everyone in this room has had to complete just to get here, the sort of measures normally reserved for nuclear launch codes or presidential visits. The reason we are all here sounds like the stuff of science fiction, or the plot of a new Tom Cruise franchise: the ceremony we are about to witness sees the coming together of a group of people, from all over the world, who each hold a key to the internet. Together, their keys create a master key, which in turn controls one of the central security measures at the core of the web. Rumours about the power of these keyholders abound: could their key switch off the internet? Or, if someone somehow managed to bring the whole system down, could they turn it on again?

  The keyholders have been meeting four times a year, twice on the east coast of the US and twice here on the west, since 2010. Gaining access to their inner sanctum isn’t easy, but last month I was invited along to watch the ceremony and meet some of the keyholders – a select group of security experts from around the world. All have long backgrounds in internet security and work for various international institutions. They were chosen for their geographical spread as well as their experience – no one country is allowed to have too many keyholders. They travel to the ceremony at their own, or their employer’s, expense.

  What these men and women control is the system at the heart of the web: the domain name system, or DNS. This is the internet’s version of a telephone directory – a series of registers linking web addresses to a series of numbers, called IP addresses. Without these addresses, you would need to know a long sequence of numbers for every site you wanted to visit. To get to the Guardian, for instance, you’d have to enter “77.91.251.10” instead of theguardian.com. “

Read the rest at the Guardian

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66% Of Internet Users In 1996 Were In The U.S.

 

 

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” In 1996, a full 66% of Internet users lived in the U.S. Seventeen years later, the country is only home to 13% of Internet users.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reddit Co-Founder Commits Suicide

 

 

Picture of Aaron Swartz

Picture of Aaron Swartz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

” The Internet genius behind the popular Web site Reddit.com committed suicide at his Brooklyn home today, police sources and friends said.

Cops discovered Aaron Swartz unconscious at 9:30 a.m. and are now investigating whether he hanged himself, law enforcement sources said.

Swartz helped create Reddit and drafted an early version of the RSS format, a “Web feed” that syndicates popular headlines.

Friends yesterday called him a prolific intellectual — and a computer geek legend — who had long suffered from depression.

“We have lost someone today who had more work to do — and who made the world a better place,” his pal Cory Doctorow wrote on the blog Biong Boing.

Swartz was also an avid Internet activist, who pushed to make web files open to the public. He opposed the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” which keeps hackers from swiping web content such as music and movies. “

 

Big Internet Museum Opens Its Digital Doors

 

 

 

” “The Big Internet Museum documents and displays the Web’s most interesting artifacts, for now and for future generations,” claims the post. “It houses seven specialized wings. In each wing, a different subject is categorized. For example, in the history wing visitors discover the first online attempts of ARPAnet, the precursor of today’s Internet. In the ‘Meme’ wing you’ll find more about ‘Chuck Norris’ and Nyan Cat.’”

In true Web 2.0 fashion, the museum is totally free, open and interactive. Visitors can vote on the relevance of different “pieces” and outsiders can even get full exhibits.

“Besides traditional wings, The Big Internet Museum has more parallels with a conventional museum,” says the website. “Third parties can display pieces in a specially assigned temporary exhibition wing. The coming months, digital production agency MediaMonks will fill the temporary exhibition room with an exhibit about the history of Flash.”

Soon it will also go mobile. It’s a pretty big surprise no one has thought of this before, so props to Polak, Drummen and Bakker for putting it together. “

 

 

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