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Pilot program to crack down on online opioid sales to begin

Registries for .com, .net, .org and .us may suspend domains under program.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration logo with the words "Trusted Notifier"

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is active with domains again.

Over one year after announcing plans to crack down on websites selling illegal opioids, the NTIA and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a pilot program to suspend domains.

The groups are working with Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) (.com, .net), Neustar (.us) and Public Interest Registry (.org) to suspend domains connected to websites that are illegally selling unapproved opioids.

During the 120-day pilot, the FDA will serve as a “trusted notifier” to let registries know about offending domains. The registries may then voluntarily lock the domain, delete the domain, or place the domain on hold.

There is not much teeth behind the pilot, and it will be interesting to see how many alerts the FDA sends and what the registries decide to do. It will also be interesting to see if the FDA only alerts registries after verifying that a site illegally sold the products to someone in the U.S.

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  1. Charles Christopher says

    The teeth it has is in nurturing the concept of “trusted notifier”, the scope of which will expand over time. It will eventually grow to become a very powerful censorship tool.

    For example, via the National Institute of Health Website:


    “First up is Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Oxycontin. Oxycontin was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December, 1995. Despite a lack of increased efficacy in treating pain compared to older medications, Purdue mounted an aggressive marketing campaign that included a warning from the FDA in 2003 over misleading advertisements. Physicians, including myself, believed Purdue and started using Oxycontin, thinking we were helping patients.”

    “The co-conspirators noted above have created the current crisis and should be required to enter into an Opioid Master Settlement Agreement to pay for treatment and prevention efforts for all those affected by their nefarious activities.”


    The FDA has been controlled by Pharma for some time, which in turn gives a hint of who controls “trusted notifiers” and what their interests may be.

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