Tag Archives: Brisc Rubal

Brisc Rubal Exonerated

If we are radio silent [on] something you know it is quality drama.

-Aryth, CSM 13 member, announcing the CCP post

Previously on season 13 of our favorite show, CSM Drama, the real life politician Brisc Rubal had been accused by a fellow CSM member of sharing confidential information with his corp mates, allowing them to enrich themselves.  For this CCP threw Brisc off of the CSM and banned all of his EVE Online accounts for life.

Council of Silly Messaging

Brisc protested his innocence, and he had his share of supporters.  But he also faced many jeers from those who mocked his carefully worded response as something a politician would do.

That quieted down after a bit.  After all, CCP had spoken.  They certainly would not make such a public accusation with such a severe penalty if they had not done a thorough investigation and were absolutely sure of the facts.

And then, of course, we found out that they did not, in fact, do a thorough investigation and, upon further reflection, announced that they needed to review the facts.

I described this as the “nightmare scenario,” a dramatic public pronouncement that they had to walk back, a situation that would leave nobody satisfied.  An actual investigation into the events would now take place.

Naturally, this made some people happy, Brisc no doubt included.  Others complained loudly about CCP, the CSM, and the unfairness of the world, where high profile players get second chances.

Now we have the final statement… at least I hope it is the final statement, but I thought the first statement would be final as well… from CCP after having completed an actual investigation.

Final Statement On Brisc Rubal Follow Up Investigation

Dear Citizens of New Eden,

Following on from our statement on April 17, we have completed our review of the Brisc Rubal investigation and determined that our initial findings were incorrect. Neither Brisc Rubal nor the other players implicated in this incident breached CCP’s confidentiality, the terms of the Non-Disclosure Agreement, or used privileged information to obtain an in-game advantage.

We made a mistake here and we offer our formal apologies. First, to Brisc Rubal and the two other players involved, both for making the allegations and for the disturbance and stress caused by the way in which we handled this situation. Second, for not collaborating with due care with the members of CSM 13, who have acted responsibly throughout. Lastly, we owe our sincere apology to the EVE community for this error. We take full responsibility for any confusion and mistrust caused by our initial assessment of the situation.

After reviewing our assessment of the information on which these allegations were based and having spoken repeatedly with everyone involved, it’s now clear that our initial actions were based on unsubstantiated assumptions. While we were motivated by a desire to protect the working relationship between the CSM and the EVE Development Team with all due speed, had we taken the time to review the information with greater scrutiny, this incident could have been resolved without the disruption that has since occurred.

We aim to make it up to all concerned. Right now, we are in the process of restoring access to the EVE Online accounts of all three affected players, returning any confiscated assets and providing rectification as appropriate. We will work to set this right and will be making changes to our procedures and policies to ensure this kind of situation does not reoccur.

Thank you for your understanding.

Basically, CCP was wrong, know they were wrong, admits they were wrong, and has announced that they were wrong.

I think any internal review of what happened… one hopes they have some internal feedback process, since the only way you learn from mistakes is to examine how they occurred and build in checks to ensure the don’t happen again… should focus on what happened that led to this phrase:

…it’s now clear that our initial actions were based on unsubstantiated assumptions.

Holy moly, they did all of that based on what now?  It sounds like they just took somebody’s word for it, not the way to go in a game where shading the truth and presenting points of view as fact are long standing aspects of the meta.

Naturally, the forum thread to discuss this final turn has much of what you would expect.  There are people at least mildly happy that CCP ended up with at the right decision, scorn for CCP jumping to conclusions, and an array of pundits wanting to know if everybody who got banned gets a review now.  The usual suspects preside.

In the end Brisc Rubal, whom CCP called out publicly, as well as Pandoralica and Dark Shines, the two unnamed alleged co-conspirators, have been cleared.  The “INIT 3” go free.  They get their account reactivated and their stuff back and probably some sort of “we’re sorry” gift for all of the trouble.

As for what Brisc will do now, he made a short statement on Twitter:

And so it goes.

Brisc will be appearing on the Open Comms Show, which you can find on the INN Twitch channel, tomorrow night at 18:00 Pacific time, 21:00 Eastern time, or 01:00 New Eden time.  There he and Dirk MacGirk and the Open Comms Show team will no doubt have much to say on the topic and many memes to share.

Naturally, other people are covering this story as expressing their opinions, though probably not as many as covered the initial bans.  Bans are news, retractions are not, so guess which will dominate Google search results when you look up Brisc Rubal going forward?

Other coverage:

Addendum:

And you know something isn’t really a thing on the internet until there is a Downfall parody of it.

 

Brisc Ban Nightmare Scenario

Invest in space popcorn!

-Bree Royce, Massively OP comment

Last week’s announcement from CCP that Brisc Rubal had been removed from CSM13 and his accounts permanently banned from EVE Online was a bit of a bolt out of the blue.  Many people were stunned.  Some were saddened that a CSM member who spent so much time trying to reach out to the community turned out to breaking the rules.  Others were less surprised that a lawyer and lobbyist… read politician… might somehow be corrupt.  Brisc had more than his share of detractors who were unhappy with his background, style, or lack of deep knowledge when it came to the mechanics of the game.  And being yet another null sec member of the CSM made him a target of opportunity for those who remain angry at the over representation on the body of that part of the game.

Remember when CSM13 seemed kind of drama free?

There has been current in the community that feels CCP doesn’t ban enough people, botters, RMTers, cheaters, or whoever.  But at least you could assume that this was because CCP was being very careful about handing out bans.  As I have said before, banning people who do not deserve it is the worst outcome as it is a very quick way to make a happy customer unhappy with your service.

So I was a bid dismayed by the CCP announcement yesterday:

Interim Statement on Brisc Rubal Follow-up Investigation

Last week, on April 8 2019, we announced the permanent banning of Brisc Rubal and their ejection from the Council of Stellar Management. We also issued one-year bans to two other players involved in this incident and confiscated their associated in-game assets and ISK.

Following this statement, we have held further discussions with the affected parties. We have also been conducting an internal review to substantiate the evidence available to us and evaluate our handling of the situation. We intend to share a full follow-up statement next week.

Transparency, fairness and trust is of utmost importance to us, which is why we’re issuing this brief update while also taking the time to ensure that we conduct a thorough investigation. We understand that there are many questions lingering over the incident, and we want to assure you that we take this matter very seriously. Both the sanctity of the CSM and the relationship we have with our players is of paramount importance to CCP.

As should be expected, we will issue a full and frank apology for any mistakes for which we are responsible, as well as provide appropriate reparations to those affected by any erroneous actions we’ve taken.

Wait, what?

My assumption that CCP would have done a full and thorough investigation before leveling accusations and banning a member of the CSM in a very public fashion was apparently wrong.

This has, of course, opened a can of worms.  The forum thread for responses to the dev blog gives a view into the spectrum of responses to this revelation.

Some people are happy that the whole affair is getting a review, perhaps ignoring the implications the need for said review for the moment.

Others are immediately hitting on the fairness issue.  If you’re banned by CCP they tend to not be very responsive to inquiries after that.  But now Brisc is getting his case reviewed.  Is that because he is:

  • Popular?
  • A CSM member?
  • From Null Sec?
  • A Goon?
  • A Lawyer?
  • Kicking back some of that sweet, sweet RMT money?
  • The real victim here?

And then there is the question about how we got here.  This whole affair was set off, according to CCP, based on information “brought to us by the CSM themselves.”  While that sounds like an all-inclusive phrase, I suspect that 9 members of the CSM turned as one and pointed a finger at Brisc.

The CSM 13 cast of characters

The problem with the CSM being a mostly null sec entity is the real possibility of null sec politics entering into things.  We saw in the past information sufficient to have a CSM candidate remove from the ballot leaked out, allegedly because he was a proponent of shield supers and a group heavily invested in armor supers did not want that voice in the ear of CCP.

So, while we will likely never find out, one wonders if the information provided to CCP was simply incorrect, misunderstood, exaggerated, or deliberately planted.

And none of this reflects well on CCP.  If, after an investigation, CCP sticks with their initial decision, they’ve only managed to look incompetent in the eyes of the community.  And if they revoke the ban, well then they are really incompetent, showing favoritism, and whatever other conspiracy theories you care to spin.

Plus, what does Brisc do then?  Is he back on the CSM?  Does he run for CSM14?  Does he wash his hands of all of this and just remain a regular guest on the Open Comms show?

There is word that the elections for CSM14 are coming soon, and this will no doubt cast an additional pall over what some already consider a suspect organization.

Back when the ban was first announced there were jokes thrown around about wanting to see the Mueller Report on the incident.  And now there actually will be a follow up report!   And what we will end up hearing will likely be an extremely redacted version of it which will, as in real life, only lead to more questions and people jumping to conclusions.

Not a bright and shiny spring day for the team at CCP.

I stated in my own blog post that after the initial Dev Blog we would hear no more about this from CCP.  I was certainly wrong on that count.

Other coverage of this:

Brisc Rubal Removed from CSM13 and Banned from EVE Online

Update:  After this CCP reviewed the initial evidence, then overturned the ban, restored all assets, and apologized to Brisc.

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.

[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.

Other coverage: