[NA-Discuss] Online Narcotics (Opioids) Traffic and ICANN Contracted Parties

gbruen at knujon.com gbruen at knujon.com
Wed Feb 15 19:49:47 UTC 2017

Hello all,

As mentioned on Monday's NARALO call I have published the results of a 
months-long study of how various U.S.-based ICANN contracted parties 
handle reports of domains engaged in narcotics traffic. The specific 
narcotics here are opioids which are synthetic versions of morphine 
often mixed with other chemicals or time-release mechanisms. Abuse of 
narcotics is a global problem, but has been particularly sharp here in 
the U.S. in the last few year. Cybercriminals respond to news and have 
become aggressively predatory in offering a variety of illicit 
substances on different domains.

In simple terms KnujOn collected illegal opioid selling domains and 
reported them in detail to registries, registrars, and ISPs. The illegal 
nature of these domains is particular to U.S. law so only U.S.-based 
companies were measured here. I may release a report later focusing on 
different regions and laws.

The public report is here: http://knujon.com/onlineopioidsUSfeb2017.pdf

I have blogged about the report on CircleID: 

Aside from the seriousness of the issue as an abuse of the DNS, the 
problem from our perspective is the response from some providers in 
terms of policy. The good news is that MOST of the contracted parties 
and ISPs simply reviewed the domains against their policies and then 
quickly terminated them. The bad news is that some Ry/Rg incorrectly 
claimed the "ICANN contract prevented them from acting", that they did 
not have "the technical ability to suspend domains", or that they "could 
not find evidence of illegal activity". One domain became "hidden" after 
we reported it to the registrar but continues to sell Fentanyl, a very 
dangerous drug.

This is ultimately about failure of policy. These parties are making a 
choice not to investigate or suspend.


Garth Bruen
gbruen at knujon.com

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