Since November of last year we have been discussing the problem of illicit and illegal online pharmacy support by ICANN-accredited Registrars. In several articles and direct contact with the Registrars we have tirelessly tried to convey the seriousness of this problem, many listened, some did not. The issues were explained in detail here on CircleID in: What's Driving Spam and Domain Fraud? Illicit Drug Traffic, Online Drug Traffic and Registrar Policy, and Internet Drug Traffic, Service Providers and Intellectual Property. Registrar issues were also voiced by other authors here like Statton Hammock Domain Registrars & Registries: Don't Say You Weren't Warned.
With the background information already known, the case presented here is much more specific and concerns EvaPharmacy, which was until recently, the world's largest online criminal pharmacy network. The shadowy network claims to be located in the U.S. but is actually run from Russia and uses multiple layers of fraud to mask its illegitimacy. The fraud in question has been clearly documented, not just by LegitScript and KnujOn but by the Pharmacy Boards of Manitoba (pdf), Minnesota (pdf), Ontario (pdf), Quebec (pdf), and Texas (pdf). All issued letters to the non-complaint Registrars explaining that the pharmacy licenses being used were forgeries.
Additionally, eNom (DemandMedia) received a letter from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (pdf) indicating that domains sponsored by them posted fake pharmacy licenses. Investigators were able to order drugs without a prescription from an illicit eNom-sponsored site without a prescription. The drugs were shipped into the United States from India, which is illegal also. At the time of this writing, the domain is still actively selling drugs (canadianhealthcaremall[DOT]net). The domains in question also have their WHOIS records concealed by a privacy service, a practice called "Material Falsification” by 9th Circuit Judge. Beyond the obvious legal and moral issues, this could be a material breach of eNom's contract with ICANN, as the Registrar Accreditation Agreement requires Registrars to follow all laws and government regulations. Unfortunately, ICANN has been strangely silent on this issue. ICANN was issued all preliminary documents concerning EvaPharmacy and the Registrars months ago but has not responded in meaningful way as of yet.
The good news is that most Registrars worked with us to shut the networks down. 11 Registrars including Godaddy, Directi, and Network Solutions all did their part to bring EvaPharmacy down. Five others including eNom still sponsor these sites. This is the key, cybercrime only profits with the tacit support of the Internet Industry. Remember this when you get your next piece of spam or malware.
None of this is speculation of hypothesis, it is all documented fact. The entire report can be downloaded and read here (pdf).
|Cybersquatting||Policy & Regulation|
|DNS Security||Registry Services|
|IP Addressing||White Space|
Minds + Machines