ICANN has declined an invitation from the Obama administration to attend a meeting tomorrow to discuss ways to crack down on counterfeit drugs web sites.
The meeting, first reported by Brian Krebs, was called with an August 13 invitation to “registries, registrars and ICANN” to meet at the White House to talk about “voluntary protocols to address the illegal sale of counterfeit non-controlled prescription medications on-line.”
It also follows a series of reports from security firms that called into question domain name registrars’ willingness to block domains that are used to sell fake pharma.
ICANN tells me that, following talks with White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel, it was agreed that it would “not be appropriate” for ICANN to attend.
The decision was based on the fact that ICANN’s job is to make policy covering internet names and addresses, and not to regulate the content of web sites.
ICANN’s vice president of government affairs for the Americas, Jamie Hedlund, said the meeting was “outside the scope of our role as the technical coordinator of the Internet’s unique identifiers.”
I suspect it also would not have looked great on the global stage if ICANN appeared to be taking its policy cues directly from the US government rather than through its Governmental Advisory Committee.
Demand Media-owned registrar eNom, which has took the brunt of the recent criticism of registrars, recently signed up to a service that will help it more easily identify and terminate domains used to sell counterfeit medicines.