ASOP Global Statement on Senators’ Call for Domain Industry Accountability to Combat COVID-19 Misinformation and Fraud
WASHINGTON – April 15, 2020. In response to letters sent by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) calling on domain name registrars and hosts to fight scams and misinformation during the COVID-19 crisis, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) issued the following statement today:
A transparent internet is a safe internet, and for too long criminals have benefitted from anonymity and lax enforcement online. ASOP Global applauds Senators Hirono, Booker and Hassan for their leadership in domain industry accountability and commitment to ensuring public health and safety.
As COVID-19 continues to claim lives and livelihoods across the country and consumers turn to the internet for medical information and treatments, we are witnessing an epidemic of misinformation in real time, with thousands of new fraudulent websites launching alongside the growth of the pandemic, exploiting fear and confusion around the coronavirus.
The call by Senators Hirono, Booker and Hassan for GoDaddy, Dynadot, Donuts Inc., Namecheap Inc., Web.com, Endurance International Group, InMotion Hosting and DreamHost to take immediate action to ensure only legitimate organizations can register and operate coronavirus-related is an important step in stopping the spread of dangerous online misinformation and fraud. In conjunction with state, federal and international efforts to combat illegal actors online and off, this effort will continue to drive public access to reliable resources and information during the pandemic.
Still, more can and must be done to protect Americans from COVID-19 related scams and counterfeit products. ASOP Global urges the Congress to enact well-vetted, no-cost policies to create a more transparent and accountable internet. Such reforms would have an immediate and global impact on patient safety and put an end to the domain industry profiting from illegal online drug sales.
During this time, it remains crucial that the public seek out reliable sources for accurate information about COVID 19 and other health issues, including the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization. Additionally, ASOP Global’s website provides further resources for how to stay safe and save when buying medicine online.
ABOUT ASOP GLOBAL
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with activities in U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia. ASOP Global is dedicated to protecting consumers around the world, ensuring safe access to medications, and combating illegal online drug sellers. ASOP Global has an expansive membership including non-profit public health organizations, international members, pharmacy members, as well as pharmaceutical manufacturers.