[At-Large] R: News on the .health TLD allocation

Roberto Gaetano roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 3 20:27:13 UTC 2014

Thanks, John.

I am still thinking that reality will be more complicated than theory, but I would be glad to be proven wrong.

Just one comment – when I was mentioning law enforcement, I was thinking at the difficulty in establishing whether a shipment was legal or not, not about the “power” to terminate the contract or suspend the name.

Best wishes,







Da: John Horton [mailto:john.horton at legitscript.com] 
Inviato: martedì 2 settembre 2014 04:16
A: Roberto Gaetano
Cc: at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org
Oggetto: Re: [At-Large] News on the .health TLD allocation


Hi Roberto,


Thanks, and great questions. I'll try to answer without going on at too much length!


I think actually that can be enforced fairly readily. (We currently do it, for example, in our monitoring of ads for Google and Bing in multiple countries, and in what we do with companies like Visa.) A few factors that we think will help:

1.	Although somewhat different as between .HEALTH and .PHARMACY, I wouldn't expect either of them to have registrations in the millions. Indeed, I think that they will likely be higher-priced (as compared to .COM), premium domain names and a smaller pool to monitor; .PHARMACY, in particular should be a fairly small pool, probably in the thousands at most. 
2.	An initial verification will occur up front, at least for .PHARMACY (I think for some .HEALTH as well, although I don't want to get too far ahead of myself). For example, a pharmacy license will be verified in applicable jurisdictions before the domain name can point to content (and the content reviewed on the IP address ahead of time) for .PHARMACY. Obviously, bad actors can "go rogue" so ongoing monitoring is needed, but up front verification should reduce the incidence of that. 
3.	As to ongoing monitoring, checking where they ship on an ongoing basis actually is pretty straightforward. It requires manual intervention, but that's a normal part of our routine.  
4.	The enforcement also is actually very straightforward because it occurs at the registry level. If a violation is found, the registry is the one that suspends (or requires suspension) of the domain name in appropriate cases. I don't think law enforcement would need to be involved, actually -- I think it's just a matter of showing that the contract was violated, which it would be if any unlawful activity in violation of applicable healthcare laws occurred.

I do think it's going to be really important to make these "trustworthy" TLDs, so that Internet users looking for a safe place to fill a prescription, for example, know that .PHARMACY really is not a free for all and that the websites really are held to the same standards as a brick-and-mortar pharmacy where they are.  It will definitely be really helpful to have the input of ALAC and other stakeholders if any abusive activity is found, although we're going to work very hard to make sure that doesn't happen. 

Thanks for the questions! Hope that helps. 

John Horton
President, LegitScript



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On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 2:26 PM, Roberto Gaetano <roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com> wrote:

Thanks John.
The explanation is really helpful.
Let's be clear, what you will be doing is without any doubts much better
than the situation now, where everything can happen, but I still remain with
some doubts about the ability to enforce these rules globally.
(I am probably going off topic for this list, but ...)
For instance, when you say:
> ... (If a healthcare product merchant is legal in three

> jurisdictions but shipping to five jurisdictions, then there is a really
> answer: stop shipping to the two jurisdictions where you aren't operating
> legally.)

Maybe I am wrong, but I have doubts that this could be enforced. Are you
planning to thoroughly check that no shipping is done to unauthorized
It just seems to me a massive checking effort, that would require also the
power of law enforcement agents, not just an administrative check.
All this to say that parminder's comment led me to think that the matter was
not so straightforward.
Anyway, I applaud the effort in moving towards a cleaner and safer solution
for online drugs trading.

> -----Messaggio originale-----
> Da: at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org [mailto:at-large-

> bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] Per conto di John Horton
> Inviato: domenica 31 agosto 2014 18:45

> A: at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org
> Oggetto: Re: [At-Large] News on the .health TLD allocation

> Hi everyone,
> Just thought I'd jump in on this. While I don't want to deign to speak for
> .HEALTH (or .PHARMACY), since we'll be involved in the monitoring, thought
> it might be helpful to explain the envisioned approach, and also how
> LegitScript's monitoring program works.
> Basically, the general philosophy is that anything that's currently okay
in the
> offline world is going to be permitted online as well. It's not intended
to be
> more or less restrictive, but just to reflect what's already required as
> existing healthcare-related regulations. Obviously, it depends on the
> in question: prescription drugs tend to have stricter requirements than
> supplements, for example, in most countries.
> What's restricted or permitted also varies by country or local
jurisdiction. One
> important point is that it's not US-centric, as one poster seemed to think
> could be the case. If the website is offering products to Japan, for
> then they have to adhere to whatever Japanese laws and regulations apply
> to the sale of those products. If they are selling to resident of India,
> they have to follow those laws and regulations. But unless they are
> drugs or other regulated products to the US, they wouldn't be bound by US
> laws and regulations. (If a healthcare product merchant is legal in three
> jurisdictions but shipping to five jurisdictions, then there is a really
> answer: stop shipping to the two jurisdictions where you aren't operating
> legally.) That's no different than what's required in the offline world as
> e.g., for a brick-and-mortar pharmacy. On our end, we already monitor
> healthcare merchants in multiple jurisdictions around the world (China,
> Korea, Japan, Ireland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Thailand, Canada...the
> goes on), applying the laws and regulations that are appropriate to each
> circumstance, so we see it as pretty straightforward. Obviously, it would
> not only impractical, but also unfair, to require a healthcare merchant in
> Sweden legally selling to Scandinavian jurisdictions to comply with US
> and regulations (in fact, it would be impossible).
> Unfortunately, the online healthcare space is one that does benefit from
> some monitoring -- there have been multiple deaths and adverse events
> from fake drugs, tainted supplements, that sort of thing. So, both of
> TLDs are intended to be a safe space where Internet users can know that
> seller is operating in accordance with the laws and regulations that they
> supposed to, just by looking at the TLD. That seems to us to be a good
> But, the Internet is a global space, and it's definitely not US-centric or
> on any one countries' laws and regulations -- rather, it's
> flexible based on the circumstance in question.
> Hope that helps to clarify.
> John Horton
> President, LegitScript

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