Oh nos! The Internet is going to die in July!

I’ve seen some scary-looking headlines, predicting doomsday for “hundreds of thousands” of Internet users on July 9 when the FBI shuts them down.

Actually, the FBI isn’t sabotaging the Internet. Here’s what’s going on and how to make sure you don’t get caught in the crossfire.

Last year, the FBI took over a rogue computer network that hijacked DNS, which you can think of as the phone book for the Internet. They charged the crooks, then stood up a legitimate DNS farm in place of the network and started issuing warnings.

The FBI doesn’t want to stay in the DNS business–having administered a medium-sized DNS farm, I completely understand why–so they’re going to shut down their temporary farm in July.

Now news sites are picking up on the warnings, some displaying a better understanding of what’s going on than others.

What you really need to know is that you need to visit http://www.dns-ok.us/ if you’re in the United States. If you’re not in the United States, visit http://www.dcwg.org/detect/ to find your country’s test. If the test site displays a cheery green screen, you’re in great shape and your Internet will work on July 9 like nothing happened. If it’s red, you need to fix your computer’s DNS settings. If you know how to do that, do it. Optimize it in the meantime. If that sounds like technobabble to you, contact your Internet provider for help.

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