After leaving Google, Niantic suspended the ability of players to suggest new portals – points of interest and locations to battle over – in the game. Before the (temporary) suspension came into force players would often suggest portals near their home or place of work so they could hack for resources throughout the day. This ability is a significant game advantage.
Niantic’s portal guidelines clearly state suggestions for portal locations without safe pedestrian access, on private property, near schools or that could interfere with the operation of fire stations, police stations and hospitals were inappropriate.
The Oxfordshire-based agent went ahead and submitted a portal at a private and secure site to create a work portal anyway. Concerns were raised after other Ingress players arrived at the scene and tried to access the portal. In a Google+ post, Kyyanno Black, notes;
Security concerns have recently been raised by site management due to opposing faction players attempting to access the portal and an internal investigation has been carried out. I am now facing a disciplinary hearing for contravening company rules and codes of conduct by “encouraging persons not authorised for site access to try and enter the site”. The charge is Gross Misconduct, and could cost me my job.
Employment law in the UK is different in the US but a Gross Misconduct charge, if upheld, is sufficient for the gamer to be fired. The portal Turbine Bird Sculpture is at Didcot power station.
Locally players of both factions are supporting calls for the portal’s removal for the game and are urging Niantic’s operation team to complete the process quickly. Other players are less supportive, one writing;
So let me get this straight. This guy submits a portal in a restricted area knowing that is against the rules. And now he job is coming down on him, and we’re all supposed to feel bad for him?