The backup keyholders have something a bit different: smartcards that contain a fragment of code needed to build a replacement key-generating machine. Once a year, these shadow holders send the organisation that runs the system – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) – a photograph of themselves with that day's newspaper and their key, to verify that all is well.
February 28, 2014
"The east and west coast ceremonies each have 7 keyholders, with a further 7 people around the world who could access a last-resort measure to reconstruct the system if something calamitous were to happen."
"Each of the 14 primary keyholders owns a traditional metal key to a safety deposit box, which in turn contains a smartcard, which in turn activates a machine that creates a new master key."