Tuesday, July 3, 2012

White Rose Conventicle

As many of you know, Yuki Onna of  the blog White Rose Conventicle dropped out of sight toward the end of May, abruptly disappearing from Eve, Twitter and the blogosphere all at once.  There had been much speculation as to what caused Yuki to exit the Eve player community so suddenly.  Though wardecced by Gooswarm Federation's massive alliance under the new Inferno rules, Yuki seemed to be soldiering on rather blithely at the time and was one of the first to point out that the new rules could be turned on their head, creating a market for bargain-basement wardecs against large nullsec alliances. Thus, the sudden drop of White Rose Conventicle and its author from the radar screen surprised many of those following events at the time.  

Earlier today Yuki surfaced and entered a comment on my post The Presumption of Safety Reconsidered from a few weeks back.  It answers a number of questions raised at the time, and raises some new questions as well.  It certainly bears reading and so I've taken the liberty of publishing Yuki's comment here in full as a stand-alone post. 


Why I Quit EVE

Yuki Onna - July 3, 2012

I have read a number of posts and tweets suggesting, as Poetic Stanziel did the other day, that I "left the game in a huff after Goonswarm wardecced" my corporation The White Rose Conventicle.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

On 25/May/2012:18:04:36 PST, a massive Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS) was launched against my EVE corp website www.whiteroseconventicle.com, taking out the entire colo facility and affecting local ATT network service for a number of hours.

This was not "meta-gaming," nothing done "ironically" or "just in play." It was a criminal act; one for which I hold CCP not directly but indirectly responsible.

CCP's gross negligence in failing to restrain and, arguably, fostering over a period of years the growth of a virulent "Lord of the Flies" culture of crowing bullies in EVE Online has succeeded in creating a manifestly unsafe online environment for its paying subscribers and, indirectly, for Internet users beyond the game.

As an IT professional, I saw little alternative but to quit EVE, which I have enjoyed playing on and off since 2007, and to take down and keep down a website I very much enjoyed making and running. I cannot justify further risking a game that CCP has so irresponsibly allowed a relatively few players to make such a rhetorically vicious and, thereby, genuinely dangerous environment. Sadly, it has come to such a pass that EVE Crime is "Real," too.

You who are still free to enjoy EVE, who have not yet been put at real-life risk by being individually targeted to be punished and silenced for speaking your mind, must demand that CCP put a halt to this poisoning of EVE, by whatever means necessary.

CCP must assume its responsibility to the paying subscribers it exposes to an online environment that CCP, not some other entity, creates and manages. CCP must cease to pad its bottom-line by shirking necessary player-behavior management expenses under the convenient pretense that all it provides are "tools which players are free to use as they please." In sum, CCP must face up to its duty to all its subscribers to promote a safe, congenial online environment and to lessen the chance that what happened to me ever happens to you or to any other EVE player.


  1. I guess this is the same 'virulent "Lord of the Flies" culture' in which carebears send non-ironic death threats to players who *dare* engage in PVP with them in an online spaceship game.


    There are more sides to the coin?

    Oh, wow, whodathunkit.

  2. This has nothing to do with CCP. Goons aren't an Eve-centric entity.

  3. Sorry Mr. IT Yuki, no buying what you are selling.

    Your TL;DR version is:

    "Goons didn't make me quit. Err, well, yes they did and its CCP's fault."

  4. "...taking out the entire colo facility and affecting local ATT network service for a number of hours."

    This is what I find most interesting. If true, the attack may put the perpetrators in violation of the US "Computer Fraud and Abuse act" and the UK "Police and Justice Act of 2006".

    That being the case, and given the likelihood that the originator(s) of the attack were doing so in the context of the Eve "metagame", the Eve Online com logs may have evidence as to who the perpetrators of an attack that degraded part of the US telecommunications infrastructure were, or possibly lead to persons with that information.

    Even setting action by the authorities aside, the DDOS attack came at a cost to Verizon and the hosting site who might seek access to the CCP's in-came communication records as part of a civil action.

    It's all fun and metagames 'til someone issues a subpoena.

    1. Fortunately a goon did not do this.

      Criminal Hackers who are now in custody did this. Google Joshthegod. He does not play eve, and he isn't in goonswarm federation. 'JoshTheGod' arrested by FBI for credit card fraud, but he's the man behind Lulzsec DDoS attacks these days. Lulzsec comes from 4chan. Goonswarm has historically not been a fan of 4chan.

      Our infosec guys pointed it out to us and we had them follow up with a goon who does infosec for ATT. It was escalated to the FBI and he relayed the relevant information to us so we could sleep better.

      Hope that Helps.

  5. The point for those to daft to understand it is that it was the out of game attacks on the website and the risk of out of game escalation that lead to Yuki quitting. That Yuki personally lays the issue as one CCP has control over is disputable. Taking a position that you will "forever war" someone in game is certainly legitimate. Taking a position that you will escalate that to RL acts (some of which are in fact criminal) is another issue. Those who can't see that there is a line are fools. Internet death threats are a legit issue as well ---

    In game BS from any side should not be bleeding into RL on such personal levels --- doing so makes this less of a fun game, not a better one regardless of the side engaged in it.

  6. I am one that can understand Yuki’s point of view. I also agree with the premise that CCP is directly responsible for the sandbox IT creates. No they do not control the actions of individual players but they DO control the “box” in which the “sand” is held. As such CCP is directly responsible for the culture within the game. If the DDO attacks are ever proven to be an extension of a culture they have not only allowed, but have enthusiastically supported, it is not much of a stretch to see them being held accountable along with the perpetrators of such an illegal activity. Who ever "they" are, I hope they are discovered and prosecuted.

    1. The thing is, CCP *celebrates* the sociopathic culture represented by the Goons. Yeah, the Mittani got smacked down after stepping way over the line at the last FanFest, but by and large CCP supports, defends, and advertises the poor way in which Goons behave. I suspect they're a bit myopic and don't recognize the difference between the truly interesting careful long-term scams and the schoolyard-griefer antics of the Goons. But they do defend whatever the Goons are doing as emergent gameplay; mechanics changes that aren't good for the Goons get mysteriously reverted very quickly; and there's no sense, whatsoever, that anybody at CCP even seems to think it's even a little bit embarassing how the Goons behave.

  7. There is a conclusion being made that the DDO attack was related to or perpetrated by a person or persons related to or affiliated with the EVE Online entity 'GSF' (Goonswarm Federation) or the 'CFC' (ClusterFuck Coalition) collectively AKA "Goons".

    While I agree, circumstantially, that with the CFC War Dec of 'White Rose Conventicle', the DDOS attack against www.whiteroseconventicle.com, the recent "Ministry of Love" the "Goons" have announced, one can see strong CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence, but is there any Real World, concrete evidence as to who actually did the DDOS?

    PLEASE understand me, I am not a Goon apologist, nor do I support them in any way, BUT... false accusations are also actionable, especially accusations made in a public venue. To be the subject of attack via an accepted mechanic in a game, then to have a real life DDOS criminal action taken against you are 2 very different things. If real, concrete evidence ties them together, THEN and only then should that relationship be considered and openly discussed.

    We need to know WHO did it, then and only then can any accusations be made. And the responsibility for the act will lie with the person or persons who perpetrated it and any who acted in collusion with them.

    Yuki, is there any direct evidence of who actually ran the DDOS?

    1. Tur,

      You'll note that Yuki does not accuse Goonswarm Federation. Yuki accuses a culture of cyber-bullying fostered by CCP.

      Assuming a DDOS attack occurred, the fact that his site was targeted points to someone in Eve as perpetrator; one assumes her blog would be of little interest outside that community.

      Available public statements from Goonswarm members, including Mittens, expressing malevolent intent toward White Rose Conventicle provides motive.

      The common use of DDOS attacks as a nullsec metagame tool provides method.

      Opportunity is a negligible bar to get over when committing a DDOS attack.

      It could certainly have been someone outside of GSF, using the opportunity to make mischief for which GSF would be blamed. However, given that there are GSF players with motive method and opportunity they are leading the suspect parade.

      The direct evidence you call for may well be in CCP's hands in the form of in game communication logs.

    2. Mord:

      The "direct evidence" you indicate may only be direct evidence of intent, as opposed to direct evidence of DDOS

    3. Knug -

      All speculation until CCP actually investigates the matter and examines the in-game logs.

    4. Mord,
      Agree with you on all points. I sorta jumped as twere because I used to be a firearms dealer (gunshops and shows, not kitchen table) and instructor and I have run ranges both formal and informal. I have had people try and accuse me of the bad acts of others due to these activities and I can tell you, CCP is NOT and cannot be held accountable for what someone else does in the real world any more than I could be held accoutable for someone's crminal activity just because they paid me to teach them how to properly and safelt handle and shoot a gun.

      "Legal Responsibility" just does not work that way... in a FREE society.

      Now... you want the Govt, Fed, State and local to hold your hand cradle to grave, that is (1) a different story and (b) not anywhere I wanna live.

      CCP provides an amazingly interesting VIRTUAL GAMING EXPERIENCE we have to PAY for (in some manner). They are not, and cannot be, held responsible for the actions of thier clientel.

    5. I wouldn't be so quick to apply American standards to what is and is not legal in this matter, Tur. CCP is not an American company, and I don't know if Yuki resides in the US, either.

      I do think the argument that CCP is somehow responsible for any out of game actions of the people that play its game to be a bit of a stretch (but not impossible, given the right set of circumstances), however.

  8. "I cannot justify further risking a game that CCP has so irresponsibly allowed a relatively few players to make such a rhetorically vicious and, thereby, genuinely dangerous environment."

    A major recurring rhetorical thread at the WRC site was equating Goons with Nazis.

    Under the theory that CCP could enforce behavior standards on their customers outside of the game, I suspect that Yuki would be among those facing sanction.

    After all, the WRC clearly incited hate against Goons in general and The Mittani in particular on a number of occasions. And The Mittani has received his own share threats and harassment out of game. You can make the same tenuous cause/effect link.

    But I doubt Yuki sees the irony in complaining about an activity in which she (he?) was complicit.

    It is, after all, always "other people" who are the cause of all our problems.