Canadian registrar EasyDNS has amended its take-down policy after a customer of one of its registrants died of an overdose.
In a frank blog post today, CEO Mark Jeftovic said that the man had died using a “controlled substance” ordered online. The web site in question used a domain registered via EasyDNS.
As a result of the death, and conversations with ICANN and the US Food and Drug Administration, EasyDNS has changed its policy.
It will now turn off any domain used for a pharmacy web site unless the registrant can produce a license permitting it to sell pharmaceuticals in the territories it sells to.
Previously, the company would only turn off a pharmacy-related domain with a court order.
It’s a notable U-turn for the company because Jeftovic is an outspoken critic of unilateral take-down notices.
In January, he referred to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as a “batch of clowns” for demanding that EasyDNS and other registrars take down unlicensed pharmacies without court orders.
He also has an ongoing beef with the UK police over its repeated requests for file-sharing and counterfeiting-related domains to be taken down without judicial review.
Jeftovic blogged today:
[I]n one case we have people allegedly pirating Honey Boo Boo reruns and on the other we have people dying. We don’t know where exactly, but the line goes somewhere in between there.
We have always done summary takedowns on net abuse issues, spam, botnets, malware etc. It seems reasonable that a threat to public health or safety that has been credibly vetted fits in the same bucket.
As a private company we feel within our rights to set limits and boundaries on what kinds of business risk we are willing to take on and under what circumstances. Would we tell the US State Department to go to hell if they wanted us to take down ZeroHedge? Absolutely. Do we want to risk criminally indicted by the FDA because of unregulated vicodin imports? Not so much.
You can read his full blog post here.