The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has partnered with internet registries to take down websites which sell opioids, and there is a chance they could use this strategy to take down Kratom websites in the future.
Specifically, the FDA is working with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and has partnered with the internet registries Neustar, Verisign, and Public Internet Registry. The FDA will send a warning letter to sites which illegally sell unregulated opioids, and if these sites do not respond within the required time frame than the internet registry will ‘voluntarily’ block or suspend the domain, effectively taking the site offline and likely permanently seizing the domain name.
At this time this is a pilot program, and presumably the FDA will be just targeting sites which sell illegal or unregulated synthetic opioids and opiates, although the FDA seems to be intentionally vague when they say they are targeting ‘sites which illegally sell unregulated opioids’, and this seems to leave the door open to use this strategy to attack Kratom, which the FDA considers an unregulated opioid.
Indeed, the FDA has hinted that they may use this strategy to take down Kratom websites in the future. Specifically, the FDA says “Websites selling kratom are not being included in this pilot at this time. FDA continues to express concerns about kratom, which affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine and appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence.”
In-fact, closely reading that statement, the FDA leaves the door open for attacking Kratom websites at some point later on during the 120 day pilot program.
The key point is that the FDA effectively has unlimited power to take down websites that they don’t approve of, especially considering the increase in government censorship on the internet, and the fact that it would be difficult to impossible to fight the FDA in court.
Thus, although the FDA may be starting by targeting websites which sell synthetic opioids and opiates, the FDA could decide at any time to start bringing down Kratom sites, and this is something the Kratom community needs to be aware of.