April 11, 2014 / by emptywheel


DropBox Turns to Condi Rice to Help Protect Users’ Rights Overseas

On Wednesday, cloud server company DropBox named Condi Rice to its board, touting her brilliance and even her service as Secretary of State, but not her role as George Bush’s National Security Advisor during the period he rolled out his most abusive policies.

Finally, we’re proud to welcome Dr. Condoleezza Rice to our Board of Directors. When looking to grow our board, we sought out a leader who could help us expand our global footprint. Dr. Rice has had an illustrious career as Provost of Stanford University, board member of companies like Hewlett Packard and Charles Schwab, and former United States Secretary of State. We’re honored to be adding someone as brilliant and accomplished as Dr. Rice to our team.

The privacy community is predictably unimpressed by the involvement of someone so closely tied to civil liberties abuses.

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston didn’t mention the appointment during his keynote at a press event on Wednesday, but a day later, Rice’s arrival had eclipsed the rest of the company’s carefully crafted public event. Unsurprisingly, some people aren’t too happy about the move. Over on Hacker News, a leading barometer for what’s on the minds of tech geeks, the day’s most popular link connects toDropDropbox, a new site calling on users to boycott the company unless it removes Rice.

The campaign’s apparently anonymous creators are calling for her removal in part because of her support for the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, including claims that Rice herself authorized eavesdropping on UN Security Council members. “Why on earth would we want someone like her involved with Dropbox, an organization we are trusting with our most important business and personal data?” the site asks.

DropBox has now responded by claiming it takes someone with Condi’s international experience — experience which includes involvement in illegal wiretapping and torture — to protect the rights of DropBox’s hoped-for international customers.

We’re honored to have Dr. Rice join our board — she brings an incredible amount of experience and insight into international markets and the dynamics that define them. As we continue to expand into new countries, we need that type of insight to help us reach new users and defend their rights. [my emphasis]

I guess Condi’s involvement in harming the rights of so many people overseas makes her an expert on how to protect them?

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2014/04/11/dropbox-turns-to-condi-rice-to-help-protect-users-rights-overseas/