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Public Interest Registry and American Red Cross Partner to Combat Online Donation Fraud

Public Interest Registry (PIR), a domain registration and management service for the .org top-level domain, has partnered with the American Red Cross, aiming to combat online fraud, especially in the context of fundraising in emergencies. The collaboration seeks to increase internet safety and enhance public trust in online donations to charitable causes.

Instances of fraudulent campaigns exploiting the name of the Red Cross have been an issue during times of disaster. These malicious activities intend to misdirect funds intended for the venerable humanitarian organization, taking advantage of goodwill from potential donors. To address this, the partnership between PIR and the Red Cross will leverage a “Trusted Notifier” system to identify and sanction fraudulent domains to ensure online donations reach the intended beneficiaries.

Under the Trusted Notifier arrangement, the Red Cross will alert PIR to any fraudulent activities identified on PIR-operated domains. PIR will then scrutinize and hold confirmed fraudulent domains accountable, invoking its Anti-Abuse Policy.

This partnership marks the first time PIR has established a Trusted Notifier relationship with a global humanitarian organization such as the American Red Cross. It expands on PIR’s existing Trusted Notifier partnerships, which include the Internet Watch Foundation, focused on the identification and prevention of child sexual abuse material, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, targeting the illegal online distribution of opioids and narcotics.

PIR notes the initiative is not designed to curb any speech, satire, or criticism of the Red Cross but targets domain names engaged in fraudulent activities. Furthermore, it guarantees due process for registrants, offering an Anti-Abuse Appeals Process to challenge any decisions PIR makes under its Anti-Abuse Policy.

PIR encourages other domain registry operators to consider establishing similar relationships with the Red Cross or other organizations to further enhance online safety. The overarching goal is to instill confidence in online donors that their contributions will reach the intended organizations.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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