I thought the CSM might be past the whole “somebody gets kicked every year” routine, but here we are again, only well beyond the usual removal scenario.
Earlier today an EVE Online Dev Blog by CCP Dopamine was posted announcing the following:
Brisc Rubal has been found to be sharing confidential information with a member of his alliance that was later used by another alliance member to conduct illicit in-game transactions.
[CCP has since removed the dev blog, so the link now points to the Internet Archive.]
The results of this finding were reported to be:
- Brisc Rubal has been removed from his role as a CSM 13 representative effective immediately and will not be able to run in any future CSM elections.
- All his in-game accounts have been permanently banned from the game.
- Two other players involved in this incident have received a one-year ban.
- All the illicit assets and ISK gained from this incident have been confiscated.
According to the Dev Blog, the information that led up to these actions came from CSM members concerned about the integrity of the institution.
As is customary with this sort of situation, CCP has declined to include any details as to what actually transpired. Brisc Rubal responded on Twitter stating that he did not know why he had been banned:
For those asking, I do not know why I was banned from EVE and removed from the CSM. I have asked for clarification and have received none. I categorically deny any wrongdoing and look forward to clearing my name and having my reputation restored.
Being a politician in real life, there was no shortage of quips in response to his statement.
Brisc Rubal also appeared on an impromptu episode of Talking in Stations with several current and former CSM members to talk about the situation. When the recording for that is posted you can listed to the discussion that came about.
While people being removed from the CSM has not been an uncommon occurrence in the past, and even insider trading has come up before, but seeing a CSM member removed from the council and having their accounts permanently banned from the game might be a new low for the institution.
I suspect that we won’t hear anything further from CCP on the topic unless they uncover compelling evidence that causes them to change their decision. CCP isn’t a civil government and you sign away all your rights when you accept the end user license agreement and terms of service, and probably all the more so when you sign the NDA as a member of the CSM.
Still, there is an odd mention near the end of the Dev Blog:
Some additional steps to help prevent similar conduct in future will be implemented. Starting from the next summit, we will impose a rule that prohibits electronics during CSM sessions and will take extra time to educate everyone about confidentiality, insider trading and general do’s and don’ts when it comes to operating under NDA.
I don’t know how electronic devices enter into this affair, and likely never will, but it is interesting that it is brought up specifically.
And then there is the question of a replacement. Often when a CSM member is removed the next person in votes from the election is tapped to join the council. However, the Dev Blog notes at the end that the CSM14 elections are “approaching fast.” Though there hasn’t been an official announcement yet or a timeline laid out, I suspect that this means that it is too late in the CSM13 term to bother bringing somebody new on board. The summits have happened already and a new election is in the offing.
Finally, in a moment of either good or bad timing, depending on how you look at it, MMORPG.com published a long post about the CSM this morning that goes into some of the ups and downs of the council. The post has since had today’s events appended.