I recently wrote about the NY State Attorney General’s Office communicating with GoDaddy about COVID-19 related domain names. In its letter, the NYAG encouraged GoDaddy to do more protect people from various schemes and scams associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The United States Food and Drug Administration has a similar goal, and it appears the organization is working with domain industry companies:
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) May 7, 2020
According to the press release distributed yesterday by the FDA, the government is working with some unidentified domain registrars to prevent and halt various scams as part of its Operation Quack Hack. From the press release:
“Additionally, as part of the FDA’s Operation Quack Hack, in just a few short weeks, the agency has discovered hundreds of such products including fraudulent drugs, testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) sold online with unproven claims. We continue to work with online marketplaces, domain name registrars, payment processors and social media websites to remove from their platforms products that fraudulently claim to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19 and to keep those products from reappearing under different names. At this time, the FDA has sent hundreds of abuse complaints to domain name registrars and internet marketplaces, who in most instances, have voluntarily removed the identified postings. We will continue to monitor the online ecosystem for fraudulent products peddled by bad actors seeking to profit from this global pandemic. We encourage anyone aware of suspected fraudulent medical products for COVID-19 to report them to the FDA.”
I am sure this is standard operating procedure for most domain registrars. I would be curious to know if all US-based domain registrars are cooperating with the FDA.