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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member 313

Posted by timothy
from the describe-your-conversation-with-the-inquisition dept.
Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State under George W. Bush, and defender of Bush-era (and onward) policies about surveillance by wiretapping and other means, has landed at an interesting place: she's just become a part of the small board at Dropbox. TechDirt calls the appointment "tone deaf," and writes "At a time when people around the globe are increasingly worried about American tech firms having too close a connection to the intelligence community, a move like this seems like a huge public relations disaster. While Rice may be perfectly qualified to hold the role and to help Dropbox with the issues it needs help with, it's hard not to believe that there would be others with less baggage who could handle the job just as well." Some people are doing more than looking for an alternative for themselves, too, as a result.
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

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  • Good choice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:17PM (#46717267)

    She's pretty sharp, well connected, and understands how the government sees these types of date & service providers.

    At a she's an awesome catch for any cloud company. Throw in her political awareness and it's even better.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:27PM (#46717455)

      Did she donate to a Prop 8 organization?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:33PM (#46717563)

        Well, she supported propping up eight dudes and having female soldiers point at their junk.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Servaas (1050156)

          Well, she supported propping up eight dudes and having female soldiers point at their junk.

          I generally have to pay to have kinky shit like that done to me.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by jbolden (176878)

        There are quite a few rumors / gossip she is gay or in a lesbian relationship herself. She couldn't break with Bush's anti-gay agenda but she advocated respect and has come out in favor of civil unions. So consider he mildly supportive of gay rights and not bad at all for a Republican.

    • Re:Good choice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:38PM (#46717643)

      She's pretty sharp

      Anyone that thought the Iraq War was a good idea, should not be described as "pretty sharp". There is a saying that 'Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good.' Condoleezza Rice is proof that we have moved past that. She is female (and black), and promoted to the highest levels, despite the failure of nearly all her policies. She is proof that you no longer have to be male to be both successful and incompetent.

      • Re:Good choice (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:49PM (#46717817)

        The Iraq war was good for all the companies involved, just like the other wars. Plus, it took down the criminal who dared to trade oil in euros, not dollars, so it was good for the State as well.

        • It was good for Iraq since Saddam and his brutality are done and Iraq is now a functioning if troubled democracy. As a bonus the cost was less than Saddam's long term average of death and destruction, and that is now ended. And it also meant no more oil for food money being diverted to build palaces and buy weapons but instead is going to benefit the Iraqi people.

          It was also good for Europe since many European countries got either oil or construction contracts from Iraq.

          It was also good for leftist weekli

      • Re:Good choice (Score:5, Interesting)

        by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:51PM (#46717841)

        Anyone that thought the Iraq War was a good idea, should not be described as "pretty sharp".

        That depends upon whether you mean "good idea ... for the USofA" or "good idea ... for me and my friends".

        A lot of companies made a lot of money off of that war.

        She is female (and black), and promoted to the highest levels, despite the failure of nearly all her policies. She is proof that you no longer have to be male to be both successful and incompetent.

        I don't agree with that. I think that anyone, regardless of race, creed, religion, etc, will always have a job publicly supporting the existing power structure.

        She wasn't elected. She was appointed by the people who were elected. And those were white men.

        Which is why I think that she's now at DropBox. She still has those political connections. And DropBox wants to pay her for access to them.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by DNS-and-BIND (461968)

          I think that anyone, regardless of race, creed, religion, etc, will always have a job publicly supporting the existing power structure.

          Isn't that an amazing step forward in egalitarianism? Such a short time ago, someone like her would never have been accepted, no matter what her political views. Pretty cool, eh? Nah, just kidding. Let's keep blaming everything on "white men" LOLZ

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      She's also just a board member. They rarely make any decisions regarding company policies or products. Instead the board is there to make sure they get paid, that the company's executives are held accountable to them, and so forth. The board is essentially the company's owners or representatives of the owners.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      99% of the users of Dropbox will not care and for a large number of potential users she will provide sense of legitimacy.
      Goodbye paranoid trouble makers that use the free service, hello companies that pay for the service.
      I fear that some members of the tech crowd think they have more power than they really do,

      • Goodbye paranoid trouble makers that use the free service

        Can't speak for any of the other 'paranoid trouble-makers' out there, but she doesn't scare me.

        Probably doesn't scare anyone else smart enough to encrypt private stuff before uploading it to the cloud, either.

  • Force her out! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:21PM (#46717351) Homepage Journal

    Quick, let's boycott Dropbox so we can force her out of the company. Then after we've succeeded we can have a another Slashdot story lamenting how intolerant we've all become and we can point fingers at everyone else.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I'm not going to 'boycott' them, but I am going to stop using them, and I now no longer care who they have on their board.

      I am disconnecting anything which I have which still points to DropBox since I haven't used it in a while anyway.

      But for a company which does cloud storage to expect that people won't look at that appointment and say "oh hell no", they're sadly mistaken. You might as well appoint Alberto Gonzales as a Constitutional scholar and privacy expert.

      I'm betting DropBox suddenly sees a drop in

      • by mi (197448)

        I am disconnecting anything which I have which still points to DropBox since I haven't used it in a while anyway.

        And I am going to install their app on my parents' phones too now, whereas before I only had it my own.

        You might as well appoint Alberto Gonzales as a Constitutional scholar and privacy expert.

        I'll certainly take Mr. Gonzales over Mr. Holder, who, without being much of an expert in anything (not even manners or sense of decorum [nbcnews.com]), presided over dramatic expansion of warrant-less surveillance [huffingtonpost.com].

        • Re:Force her out! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:51PM (#46717859) Homepage

          I'll certainly take Mr. Gonzales over Mr. Holder

          As opposed to Gonzales who said habeus corpus wasn't really a right? Who said that torture was OK?

          You can keep him.

          I'm not defending Holder, but Gonzales didn't seem to have the barest clue about what the Constitution said and what it meant.

          Sorry, but pretty much anybody from the Bush era (and quite honestly a bunch who are still in Washington) has no business working at a place which has a privacy policy.

          • by JDAustin (468180)

            Whats worse, a AG who doesn't know or AG who knows and ignores it anyways.

            • by khasim (1285)

              Whats worse, a AG who doesn't know or AG who knows and ignores it anyways.

              It's not an autocracy.

              You vote in the least problematic option and then you work with the other branches to limit the problems.

              I voted for Obama. Twice. Because I thought the other options were worse. And now I oppose many of Obama's policies. And I let my Senators and Representatives know my opinions.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mi (197448)

            Gonzales who said habeus corpus wasn't really a right

            So did Abraham Lincoln [about.com]...

            Who said that torture was OK?

            For the umpteenth time: waterboarding is not torture. At most, it is "torture-lite" — anything, from which the subject walks away without bodily harm, does not qualify.

            Sorry, but pretty much anybody from the Bush era (and quite honestly a bunch who are still in Washington) has no business working at a place which has a privacy policy.

            First of all, Obama's era is only worse in this regard. I und

      • by khasim (1285)

        But for a company which does cloud storage to expect that people won't look at that appointment and say "oh hell no", they're sadly mistaken.

        Seriously. Who would look at her record and think "Yep! My data is safe with that company. They're 100% supportive of my security and privacy."

        • by lgw (121541)

          The NSA had a great track record of security and (internal) privacy while she was national security advisor. All the leaks happened after she left.

          Do you think they wanted her for ethical advice?

        • by Richy_T (111409)

          Dick Cheney?

      • by Krojack (575051)

        I'm betting they see a very small drop in usage/users. I'm going to pick a random percent out of my ass and guess that less than 10% of Dropbox users will even know about her getting on the board and of that a very small % will care enough to drop the service.

        But I'm just making a wild guess and have nothing to base my numbers on.

    • What the fuck does this have to do with tolerance. Why would I want someone who supports the Patriot Act, NSA, TSA, basically everything big brotherish to sit on the board of a cloud based storage company. That basically says to me that I should expect that the data will be sold to the highest bidder and I have no privacy.
  • Baggage? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:22PM (#46717369)

    I know you all think Bush and Obama are the same, but there's no way Secretary Rice has "close connections to the intelligence community" under the Obama administration.

  • Surely (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eddi3 (1046882) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:22PM (#46717381) Homepage Journal
    If Brendan Eich could be forced out for a $1,000 donation, surely Ms. Rice can be for influencing privacy policy herself, something which is highly relevant to this business. In addition, she has defended her position since leaving office. I think the real question here is where does this end?
  • meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schneidafunk (795759) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:23PM (#46717383)

    I really don't care, this is a private company and they can hire who they want to. That being said, I assumed dropbox already was infiltrated by the NSA.

  • Oh why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:23PM (#46717393)

    She was the provost of Stanford University, she's got a huge rolodex in government and SillyCon Valley. She's also obviously got a big background in IR and particularly working with Russia and Africa, which are both huge growth markets for Internet companies.

    Her biggest crime was not asking all the right questions, and didn't have to swag necessary to challenge Cheney or Rumsfeld, not that she was particularly motivated. She's proven to be a pretty bad administrator and manager, but she's going on the Board, not into management.

    • Re:Oh why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:30PM (#46717505)
      Really?

      She was intimately involved in the decision to go to war with Iraq and spoke publicly in support of it.

      She was an integral part of the Bush administration's campaign of lies surrounding the war, working to further public support of the war by lying about Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

      Rice played a central role in affirming the "legality" of the Bush administration's torture program.

      Rice not only spoke in favor of the Bush administration's warrantless wiretap program and expansive domestic surveillance program, she authorized the warrantless wiretap of UN Security Council members.

      But you keep thinking that a extremely brilliant and accomplished individual, having obtained her Masters degree at age 20, isn't smart enough to ask the right questions or able to go toe to toe with Cheney or Rumsfeld....
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:38PM (#46717649)

        Oh please. We all know the real reason they hired her is because they only have to pay her 77% of what they'd pay an equivalent man. She's a bargain!

      • Re:Oh why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday April 10, 2014 @03:17PM (#46718205)

        But you keep thinking that a extremely brilliant and accomplished individual, having obtained her Masters degree at age 20, isn't smart enough to ask the right questions or able to go toe to toe with Cheney or Rumsfeld....

        The problem is that, while she is smart, she is also ideological.

        If her ideology conflicts with the facts, the ideology wins.

        Not only was she NOT willing to ask question, she WAS willing to give press interviews with WRONG information. Because that WRONG information suited her ideology. Even though it would cost lives.

        NOT the kind of person YOU want on the Board of Directors of a company tasked with providing access to YOUR data.

        She didn't care enough about the lives that would be lost to ask any questions. And she cared so little for those lives that she provided wrong information to support the drive to war. Do you think that your DATA will mean more to her than that?

    • Re:Oh why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alexander_686 (957440) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:32PM (#46717535)

      That is not quite true. To simplify, she was a neocon who was overconfident of what US military force could do. That would put her on the side of Dick Cheney, but on the opposite side of Rumsfeld and Powell who were urging caution.

      I will second you point on that she is very sharp but that her management of the state department was subpar.

      • by JDAustin (468180)

        US military did the job, the problem goes back to the post invasion policies as defined by Paul Bremer which made things worse. Had we used de-nazification policies on the Baath party, the insurgency would have been much more limited. Remember, even in post-WW2 germany, 4-5k soldiers died to German partisans (aka insurgents).

        • Maybe – hindsight is 20/20. Everybody believed that the US would win the initial ground war. The long game was a different matter. My point is that the neocons felt that a small military force could rapidly democratize Iraq – that the population was yearning for a western democratic system. Some neocons where talking about probably regime change in Syria and Iran within a few years. Widely optimistic.

          From what I have read about counter insurgency / pacification, it takes large committed force ye

      • Re:Oh why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ducomputergeek (595742) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @03:16PM (#46718197)

        I've said this before, the US Military does obliterating an opposing force quite well. Which serves well when the objective is the liberation of a territory from hostile occupation, where the US can go in, win, and then the local populace can quickly get things back the way it was. It does not do occupation very well nor really has outside of the Wester Hemisphere.

        The exception being post World War II with the Marshal Plan. Which planning for that began in 1943 and by 1945 the government had managed to twist the arms of a lot of academics, economists, finance, and high ranking industry officials to spend two years post war to help rebuild western Europe.

    • She gave speeches strongly advocating war in Iraq, and was an integral part of the whole process that led to a war which killed over 100,000 people. It was later solidly established that the people at the very top of the Bush administration knew their excuses for war were BS and kept repeating them anyway, and ignoring all the evidence that they were wrong.

      I keep reading about how intelligent this woman is. But given the things she's done, she sounds pretty goddamn dumb to me. It's not everyone who can say

  • ...we must not let the next warning from ShareFiles.com be a smoking gun in the shape of a mushroom cloud!
    We must send our youngest interns to effect regime change on their board!
    Thank you, and God Bless Dropbox!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:25PM (#46717423)

    I've been meaning to disable this for a while.

    If she's on your board, I'll get that done now.

    There is now zero room to trust DropBox as an entity.

  • Let's quit pretending this is anything but an attempt to force her out because she is/was a Republican.

    If she were a Democrat, the article would talk about the racist/sexist Republicans that were trying to force her out.

    The Democrats have only enhanced the spying and wiretapping, but you don't get outcry's about the likes of Facebook the Zuckerberg's of the world who are huge Democrat donors.

    I love to see that "tolerance" the left is famous for.
    • I love to see that "tolerance" the left is famous for.

      And we've seen it from the Soviet gulags to the Khmer Rouge's killing fields.

    • by dcollins (135727) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:49PM (#46717827) Homepage

      Let's say Republican Senator Susan Collins took this position instead. Then: No issue and no uproar.

      The problem is not that Rice is a Republican, it's that she was a part of the most terrifying Republican administration in history, and oversaw defense of torture and mass-surveillance wiretapping programs.

      • by JeffAtl (1737988)

        it's that she was a part of the most terrifying Republican administration in history, and oversaw defense of torture and mass-surveillance wiretapping programs.

        So if she had been part of the most terrifying Democrat administration in history, it would be ok?

        To be clear, I consider both parties to be clowns. They are mostly all friends and laugh at all the hardcore party partisans that get all worked up and think it's real. It's just like pro wrestling. You're just a mark.

        • by Richy_T (111409)

          Well, he couldn't have said "the most terrifying administration in history" anymore, could he?

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by JDAustin (468180)

        I hope you consider the Obama admin one of the most terrifying Democratic admins in history then as they oversaw defense of drone assassinations and much more expanded mass-surveillance. Lets add in gun-running to mexico, getting our ambassador to Libya and 3 others dead and then lying about it, enacting policies that encourage the militarization of local police, etc. Of course it takes a lot to surpass the Woodrow Wilson admin with their arresting journalists and shutting down newspapers that were their

    • I was trying to figure out why people would say that she's connected to the NSA. I was wondering if they'd say that about anyone who served in the White House (Al Gore is on Apple's board). I guess to people subscribing to a team mentality, any member of the republican leadership must be working to promote the NSA, and all the brave democrats are fighting against it.

      But in reality, it's pretty silly to think that she's going to advocate turning over all their data to the NSA just because she's on their boar

    • I think if James Clapper or Keith Alexander joined the board of DropBox you'd see the same issues. But they haven't.

      Being a donor to one of two political choices (or often both) is one thing. That's very, very far removed from power. Actually having started wars whilst being Secretary of State is entirely different.

  • Uh oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:38PM (#46717647)

    Apparently they never checked her stance on Gay marriage:

    “I don’t ever want anybody to be denied rights within our country. I happen to think marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s tradition, and I believe that that’s the right answer. But perhaps we will decide that there needs to be some way for people to express their desire to live together through civil union.”

    Condoleezza Rice — Dec. 20, 2010

    I guess websites will have to protest and such and then she'll resign after 2 weeks right?

    • by devent (1627873)

      Did she supported any bills that were discriminatory? If yes, then I would say that she deserves the same backslash as Mr. Eich. Of course, it's not to be to decide but from the homosexual community. From the short quote I can't decide, because same-sex marriage was never about the marriage itself but the recognition of the union from the government. Basically, I would agree with Rice on this particular quote.

      Lets see what the quote says:
      "I don’t ever want anybody to be denied rights within our countr

    • You know anyone who is stupid enough to use cloud storage for securing data even after seeing the company hire someone who supported the patriot act, tsa, nsa, torture, etc is really not going to care about stance on gay marriage.
    • I know I'll be modded down again but:

      Well, no, because that's not really a position of hate now is it? She's haggling over the meaning of the term "marriage" but ultimately is in favor of same sex couples to have the same rights that heterosexual couples have. She states it twice, "I donâ(TM)t ever want anybody to be denied rights within our country" and "perhaps we will decide that there needs to be some way for people to express their desire to live together through civil union" in the the four se

  • She is sharp and well-connected but I hope that this does not undermine Dropbox. I know I never trusted Dropbox from the very beginning and this is giving me even more reason not to trust them. Does this mean that government has an in road to easier spying? Only time will tell ....
  • Sum up... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by freeze128 (544774) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @03:04PM (#46718025)
    It's not that using Dropbox is now a bad idea because Rice is on the board.... It's that using any "Cloud Based Storage" is not a good idea. Savvy readers can probably already setup and host their own servers... Why do you want to risk your data to someone else who does it "for free"?
    • by Yosho (135835)

      Savvy readers can probably already setup and host their own servers...

      What would you suggest for readers who aren't savvy but want a way to effortlessly keep files synchronized between all of their devices?

      • For non-savvy users: I recommend Tresorit [tresorit.com]. I really like the interface, and they seem to have security as one of their primary focuses. Everything you store on Tresorit is encrypted before it leaves your computer / device.

        For more savvy users: SpiderOak [spideroak.com]. Its interface is ... more than a little bit convoluted. But it's got all the same security and encryption that I like about Tresorit, plus file versioning and a web interface.

  • Anyone remember the Race Draft skit on The Chappelle Show? The whites wanted to draft Colon Powell as 100% white but the blacks would only allow it if they also agreed to take Condaleeza Rice. She wasn't real popular back then either apparently.
  • Are they not grand? Where do i sign up?

  • BRB, deleting everything from my dropbox and discontinuing service.

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