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Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem 448

Posted by timothy
from the don't-worry-we'll-only-look-at-the-secrets dept.
theodp (442580) writes "On Friday, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston sought to quell the uproar over the appointment of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the company's board of directors, promising in a blog post that Rice's appointment won't change its stance on privacy. More interesting than Houston's brief blog post on the method-behind-its-Condi-madness (which Dave Winer perhaps better explained a day earlier) is the firestorm in the ever-growing hundreds of comments that follow. So will Dropbox be swayed by the anti-Condi crowd ("If you do not eliminate Rice from your board you lose my business") or stand its ground, heartened by pro-Condi comments ("Good on ya, DB. You have my continued business and even greater admiration")? One imagines that Bush White House experience has left Condi pretty thick-skinned, and IPO riches are presumably on the horizon, but is falling on her "resignation sword" — a la Brendan Eich — out of the question for Condi?"
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Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

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  • Ghostery blocked comments powered by Disqus.

    Oh well.

  • by eyepeepackets (33477) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @08:34AM (#46732795)

    Now George is a painter, Condi is on the board, Dick -- well, Dick is still a dick. So, are we supposed to forget or what? And forgive? Hard to do when we're still payin' the bills.

  • The real question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by radiumsoup (741987) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @08:47AM (#46732845)

    The real question is, "what does she bring to the table" as a member of the Board? Does her tenure as a faculty member in the Stanford School of Business matter? What about her time as the director of the Stanford Global Center for Business and the Economy?

    • shocking.. you mean she is not an NSA plant? I thought for sure that Rice was still on Obama's payroll alone with Cheney.

    • by Simulant (528590)

      Because all that matters is the Dropbox stock price?

      Some of us will never forgive her and so some of us will cease using Dropbox.
      This is legit.
    • Re:The real question (Score:5, Informative)

      by SpankiMonki (3493987) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @10:20AM (#46733245)

      The real question is, "what does she bring to the table" as a member of the Board? Does her tenure as a faculty member in the Stanford School of Business matter? What about her time as the director of the Stanford Global Center for Business and the Economy?

      Ms. Rice is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, a professor of Political Science, and the Faculty Director at the SGCBE.

      Outside of Stanford, Rice is the founding partner of RiceHadleyGates. She also serves on the boards of C3 (energy software), Makena Capital, Commonwealth Club, Aspen Institute, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Rice is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

      Ms. Rice is also an author, a contributor to CBS, and makes frequent appearances on the lecture circuit.

      I have a lot of respect for Ms. Rice, but when you look at all the organizations and activities she's involved with, I really *do* wonder what value she would bring to the board of Dropbox. Rice seems to be spread pretty thin already.

      I suspect Dropbox put her on their board for visibility/star power as much as anything.

      • by dbIII (701233)

        I really *do* wonder what value she would bring to the board of Dropbox

        They have put a leading member of a political party on their board so that's the answer. Your mistake is thinking US politics is in some way special and you need to look at this as if the same thing was done in a corrupt banana republic.


  • Try SpiderOak [spideroak.com]. Free 2 GB, zero-knowledge, secure. Works on a load of OSs and devices.

    I'm a completely satisfied customer.
    • Re:Drop Dropbox (Score:5, Insightful)

      by causality (777677) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @09:32AM (#46733039)

      Try SpiderOak [spideroak.com]. Free 2 GB, zero-knowledge, secure. Works on a load of OSs and devices. I'm a completely satisfied customer.

      Or ... get a free dynamic DNS hostname (there are still plenty available) and take a few minutes to learn about SSH/SFTP (and SSHGuard if you are using passwords) and set up your own personal file server. It doesn't have to allow shell access.

      Now the companies can do whatever they want because you did the little bit of learning it took not to care.

      • by grub (11606)
        I have my own domains and do this with tunnelled rsync to a NAS4Free box, though for long term storage I like SpiderOak (and TarSnap). SpiderOak keeps historical versions and dedupes the data.
    • by Kardos (1348077)

      Perhaps once the client is open source then the "Zero Knowledge" will begin to apply

  • I say that as a Democrat. I also say its legitimate to question her appointment for policy based reasons.
    Brandon Eich was ousted for social policy reasons not directly tied into the day to day functioning of the board.
    That was a board decision to force him to resign.

    Dropbox and privacy are core to its mission. Condi Rice has served on several boards of directors including Hewlett Packard, Chevron and the Rand corporation
    shes professional and experienced. Shes not going to sell dropbox out to the NSA and she

    • by jrumney (197329) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @10:04AM (#46733195) Homepage

      Condi Rice has served on several boards of directors including Hewlett Packard, Chevron and the Rand corporation shes professional and experienced. Shes not going to sell dropbox out to the NSA

      Just because the last three companies she was on the board of did not need to be sold out, it doesn't follow that she won't sell this one out. Remember, warrantless wiretapping began on her watch. As a former National Security Advisor, her ties to the intelligence community are strong.

  • by netsharc (195805) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @09:31AM (#46733037)

    Hiring a war criminal and domestic-spying person may not change Dropbox's stance on privacy, but it shows another darker side of DB, it's business-at-the-expense-of-morality side.

    Did they really think, "She approved the mass snooping of private data saved online, which certainly included targeting our infrastructure to breach our customers' privacy. Oh, we won't worry about that, we need her expertise, we'll hire her!".

    Then again, writing the above paragraph, what the fuck was their stance on privacy then, if hiring her didn't make them ask themselves whether they're doing the right thing?

    And how exactly will Dropbox succeed in the international scene, when all the foreign companies fucking realize that they're basically in-bed with the Washington "Elite", the same people that created and supported PRISM?!?

    • Hiring a war criminal and domestic-spying person may not change Dropbox's stance on privacy, but it shows another darker side of DB, it's business-at-the-expense-of-morality side.

      More importantly: What the actual fuck is she bringing to the table that we actually want there?

  • Also (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @09:32AM (#46733041) Homepage Journal

    In other news, Dropbox has announced that their appointment of Joseph Goebbels to their board of directors will not change their stance on Jews.

  • Would we be seeing this same faux "privacy" outrage if it were Hillary Clinton or some other person from Obama's national security team? Has not the surveillance state expanded exponentially under the current administration? Doubtful. And what exactly was Rice's "central role in creating the surveillance state"? That she, at the President's direction, authorized NSA to spy on foreign diplomats? WTF do you think intel agencies are there for? Considering her not very good relations with Darth Vader..er D

  • Change of tune (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inhuman_4 (1294516) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @09:42AM (#46733087)
    I find it very amusing how the tune has changed with regards to how vote with their wallet and corporate moral character.

    For the longest time the argument was "Well if you don't like company x don't buy their products!". With the implication being that if you don't actually stop, then you are just a whiner or a hypocrite. But now people really are taking their business elsewhere. The actions of a company or the people that represent a company is effecting the bottom line. Yet somehow old "vote with your wallet" is no longer acceptable. Somehow judging a company based on it's moral character is an assault on free speech, maybe even down right persecution!

    For a long time people (on Slashdot especially) have been warning of the dangers of putting your data in the cloud. Of the amount of personal information that can be gleaned from your web browsing habits. That that big business is cooperating with the government (willingly or not) in a massive breach of privacy. So how and can anyone be surprised that customers demand moral character from leadership of companies to whom we are handing over so much personal information?

    If you had to make a choice between companies to store YOUR personal information and your choices are: Company A with Bruce Schneier on it's board of directors, and Company B with Dick Cheney on it's board of directors. Does anyone seriously think that difference shouldn't effect the decision?

    I for one have no sympathy. Yes a company has every right to alienate their customers, but customers also have every right to vote with their wallets.
  • For Eich, there were plenty of great reasons for him to be CEO of Mozilla, clue wise. But what does Rice have to do with anything here? Does she have some 'putar expertise she did not let on during her time of accompliceship with war profiteering?

    Not to pick on just her, I wonder generally: What's with these random politicians on the boards of random corporations? Do they just get paid for having connections? Are they actually doing anything?

  • by paiute (550198) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @10:17AM (#46733237)
    Perhaps if you are a company which should have privacy concerns right up at the top of your list of to dos you should not appoint a board member who by all accounts gives not a shit for privacy concerns?

    By the by, wouldn't life be the tits if I had no background in tech other than abusing it but had political connections as 99% of my resume and could land sweetheart preIPO deals like this?
    • land sweetheart pre-IPO deals

      The thing about pre-IPO is that it means IPO is in the future. Think about IPO. Now, if you're working for investors who pay you to analyze investment risk, then wouldn't having Rice on the board factor into the Risk category pretty heavily? One fucked up privacy/advertising foobar influenced by this spy-happy nutter on the board could easily end the company. It's not like everyone and their mother isn't competing in cloud storage now.

      Furthermore, in a post-Snowden world the appointment of Rice doesn't

  • by Snap E Tom (128447) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @11:13AM (#46733473)

    Dropbox starts scanning your files and prevents you from sharing what *it thinks* are copyrighted materials, and instead, you guys bitch and moan over some Hollywood-celeb-type bullshit?

You are in a maze of UUCP connections, all alike.

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