Brisc Rubal Removed from CSM13 and Banned from EVE Online

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.

Never far from drama

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.

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.

Other coverage:

5 thoughts on “Brisc Rubal Removed from CSM13 and Banned from EVE Online

  1. Mynxee (@Mynxee)

    Typically at Summits, people use their laptops or other devices to take notes, usually hooked into CCP’s wifi.

    My first thought when Brisc announced he had no idea what he was guilty of was that he should ask his fellow CSM members, since the dev blog identified them as providing material information that led to his removal.

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  2. evehermit

    I’d like to know if it is true that CCP has publicly announced a person guilty of a crime and the punishment dealt to them – without bothering to discuss it with them or explain what they had supposedly done.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @evehermit – No crime here. Brisc faces no fines or jail time or even probation. He’s just not allowed to play CCP’s game any more, a path forward totally in line with the TOS and EULA and likely the NDAs to which Brisc consented, had to consent to in order to be in his position.

    The only difference between him and some random botter getting banned is that he is a public figure in the game, so CCP felt they had to make some statement. Otherwise they never discuss anything outside of what is publicly visible. And even if they do send him information, the EULA and TOS says that his sharing that information is a bannable offense.

    The only hope for eventually figuring out what happened is that the CSM people who informed CCP about whatever Brisc did spill the beans. And since that is probably also covered by NDA and could be narrowed down to specific individuals, that would be unwise.

    I like Brisc. I met him at EVE Vegas. He is charming and personable, the type of person who gets into politics because he has an easy way with people that makes him likeable. But he gets a lot of flak for being an actual politician, especially for wanting to wade into topics where he is not an expert. EVE is the type of game that attracts people who feel knowledge of mechanics makes you a better person.

    And, of course, his statements on Reddit after this have been jumped on savagely as not definitively ruling out any possibility of wrongdoing on his part, which smacks of being a politician. But politicians are like that because the only thing worse than being vague is being specific and wrong. Being wrong is unpardonable, something your foes will never let you forget, so what do people expect politicians to do? They’re trained in the school of public opinion.

    Anyway, none of this makes me happy. Brisc tried hard to engage with the community and to listen and to bring what he heard to CCP.

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  4. SynCaine

    Most likely this guy knows exactly what he did, but he is going with the ‘deny deny deny’ defense that so many go with. Game companies would much rather sweep misconduct under the rug and avoid the bad PR than having this become a large issue, so that always suggests to me the case is clear-cut and this was really the only option they had.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – Not an unlikely scenario. And certainly part of CCP’s motive in not discussing any of this is to avoid further PR, though with Brisc being as high profile as he was, they will have to sit tight for a while before this passes. Or they’ll have to do something else to enrage some part of the community… like releasing a new SKIN design while a bug yet exists in the game somewhere.

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