Intervening at the registrar level to battle spam and Internet scams is an effective tactic, but one that requires “highly focused organizations that work diligently to discover new domains and also can establish credibility or effective pressure across registrars,” researchers concluded in a new study.
Citing work done between LegitScript and major domain name registrar eNom to shut down rogue Internet pharmacies, the study shows that what LegitScript does works. (Note that LegitScript didn’t even know about this study until after it came out.) However, the researchers also see room for improvement — suggesting a global approach by ICANN — and they lay out challenges of these takedowns, as scammers and spammers are an adaptable bunch. They wrote:
… [F]or domain name interventions to be effective, registrars themselves must take on more oversight responsibility. While there is some controversy over whether registrars should take on this role, it is clear that they are increasingly doing so in response to external complaints.
Read the full study here.
One of the many tactics we use here at LegitScript to try to rid the Internet of rogue online pharmacies is notifications to domain name registrars. We let registrars know which rogue pharmacies are abusing their services, and request that they be shut down. We think that this is part of an effective strategy because there is a limited number of registrars, and rogue Internet pharmacies invariably seek “safe haven” registrars that will protect their ability to engage in illegal activities. But as LegitScript has partnered with more and more registrars worldwide, the rogue Internet pharmacy criminal networks simply have fewer and fewer places to hide.
This recent study is good news: it’s confirmation by an independent group of researchers that LegitScript’s strategy is working to make the online healthcare market safer.