When the Internet Nearly Fractured, and How It Could Happen Again

Kashpureff chose DNS as his arena of protest. Every website, every e-mail, every embedded picture, every transaction--heck, nearly everything that happens on the Internet gets plugged into the domain name system, which went by the name InterNIC. At the time, thirteen root servers labeled "A" through "M" were scattered around the globe. Managed by small teams, they cascaded Internet traffic to an array of local registries. Together, those registries function as the global network's directory system. Without it, it would be nearly impossible to navigate a network of the Internet's complexity.

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Nancy Scola is a writer based in New York. She has written for New York, Salon, and Seed, and is a frequent contributor to The American Prospect.

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