KnujOn calls out eNom for pharmacy sites.
Internet security research group KnujOn isn’t afraid to pick a fight. And its latest report (pdf) picks a big one, going after 162 domain name registrars including eNom, the second biggest in the world. It even says that eNom is an “active facilitator of illicit criminal traffic”. But that logic is based on the idea that everything illegal on the internet usually involves a domain name, and you should blame the registrar.
Before getting into the eNom complaints, KnujOn suggests that basically all ills of the internet start with illicit drug trade:
There are many types of threats on the Internet but our research reveals the heavy influence of diverted, altered, and counterfeit prescription drugs. In our estimation this is the number one threat to consumers and the Internet structure. Additional security threats like malware deployment, denial of service attacks, trademark hijacking, botnets, spam, WHOIS fraud, network intrusions, domain hijacking, Registrar corruption, and electronic money laundering are all tools of the global network of illicit drug traffic. Beyond the Internet this traffic impacts the health of the public while funding organized crime and terrorist groups.
That’s quite a claim. But here’s what KnujOn has to say about eNom:
These are therefore the facts. There are roughly 4,000 rogue Internet pharmacies violating the criminal laws specified above that are utilizing eNom’s registration services, more than any other Registrar by a factor of seven. eNom is aware of the illegal nature of these domains. eNom has been notified by the organization that represents pharmacy regulatory authorities about this problem, and has been requested to work with LegitScript, as other U.S.-based Registrars do, and non-U.S. Registrars who do business in the United States, to identify clearly illegal websites and suspend them in accordance with the RAA, UDRP and their own Terms and Conditions. eNom has failed to act.
And the group says eNom is thereby an “active facilitator” of illegal conduct:
Since December, 2009 eNom has transitioned from being a passive service provider to become an active facilitator of illicit criminal traffic, and possibly a knowing accessory, under the common definitions.
Is it fair to blame the registrar? To what extent should a registrar be involved in taking down these domains? It’s a legitimate question, but KnujOn says eNom needs to act:
No one is suggesting that eNom is a principal in these cases. However, without their sponsorship of domains, like canadianhealthcaremall.net, the illicit activity would not exist. So it follows that eNom is facilitating crimes committed by the owners of canadianhealthcaremall.net because eNom knowingly provides them with the means and opportunity to commit a crime. We have already established eNom has full knowledge of the crimes documented and from that day their inaction helps the criminals commit additional crimes and even evade detection through privacy services.
Seems a lot like the “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” debate.
The report knocks eNom more, including how it operates “Acquire This Name” to sell company-owned domains. Although this has been known in the domain community for a while, I’m not sure why KnujOn labeled this as a “reseller” abuse.