Neustar, PIR and Verisign Participate in U.S. Government Pilot To Prevent Illegal Online Sale Of Unapproved Opioids

Neustar (.us), Public Interest Registry (.org) and Verisign (.com/.net) are participating in a four month trial with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Food and Drug Administration to curb illegal online sales of unapproved opioids.

Under the program, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will work with the three domain name registries for the 120 day trial to suspend the domain names of websites found to be illegally selling unapproved opioids.

For the duration of the pilot, FDA will serve as a “trusted notifier” to alert the registries about websites that are illegally selling unapproved opioids. Upon receiving notice from the FDA, a registry may then voluntarily lock the domain, delete the domain, or place the domain on hold, as appropriate. The “trusted notifier” designation expedites the process for suspending domain name registrations.

“The Commerce Department is eager to work with our partners at HHS, FDA, and the domain name registries to remove a major channel for the sale of illicit opioids, which will help save many American lives,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

“Cooperation between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Commerce, with the addition of the pilot program, will help stop the online sale of illicit opioids and combat our country’s deadly addiction crisis,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “The men and women of FDA have worked tirelessly over the years with the private sector and federal partners, like NTIA, to fight illegal online opioid sales.”

At the end of the pilot program, NTIA, FDA, and the domain name registries will analyse the program’s effectiveness and its potential as a long-term solution to combatting the illegal sale of unapproved opioids online.

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