Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Board

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Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Board

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:46 pm UTC

http://www.drop-dropbox.com/
Choosing Condoleezza Rice for Dropbox's Board is problematic on a number of deeper levels, and invites serious concerns about Drew Houston and the senior leadership at Dropbox's commitment to freedom, openness, and ethics. When a company quite literally has access to all of your data, ethics become more than a fun thought experiment.


I'm not entirely sure if this deserves its own topic, or if this should go into the previous Mozilla / Brenden Eich topic. But for reference, the Brenden Eich topic is here, and it is about similar actions towards protesting Mozilla (Firefox specifically) over their appointment of Brenden Eich as CEO.

Condoleezza Rice was Secretary of State under Bush, and served in the National Security Counsel under Bush. Naturally, she was quite involved in the controversial Iraq War. This is the source of controversy. Like the Brenden Eich case, an internet protest has begun to mobilize against Rice. I've voiced my disdain in the Brenden Eich topic, but I can tell that this Dropbox issue is at least more relevant than the Mozilla one. If people were supportive of the Firefox protest, they'll certainly be supportive of this clearer-cut case as well.
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby ahammel » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:55 pm UTC

And a boycott is a totally reasonable reaction in this case as well, particularly since Deopbox has access to tonnes of sensitive data and Rice is a surveillance fan.

Strikes me as a really weird appointment. What's Rice's tech background?
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:59 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:And a boycott is a totally reasonable reaction in this case as well, particularly since Deopbox has access to tonnes of sensitive data and Rice is a surveillance fan.

Strikes me as a really weird appointment. What's Rice's tech background?


She's served in the Board of Hewlett-Packard, Transamerica, and Chevron. She has a little bit of tech background, but it sounds like she's more of a business leader.
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby FLHerne » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:05 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Naturally, she was quite involved in the controversial Iraq War. This is the source of controversy.

No.
She authorised the NSA to illegally wiretap UN telephone and email messages (to help Bush 'legitimise' said controversial war).
That is the source of controversy.

I can't really stop using Dropbox, because I've never started. Seems like a good idea though - giving someone with a history of violating data privacy a copy of all your data isn't ideal.

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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby ahammel » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:06 pm UTC

FLHerne wrote:I can't really stop using Dropbox, because I've never started. Seems like a good idea though - giving someone with a history of violating data privacy a copy of all your data isn't ideal.

I keep all my sensitive Dropbox'd data encrypted. Have fun with that, NSA.
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:07 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:And a boycott is a totally reasonable reaction in this case as well, particularly since Deopbox has access to tonnes of sensitive data and Rice is a surveillance fan.

Really? I have data on Dropbox, but none of it is sensitive. There are cloud storage services with far better security, so I'd imagine the majority of users who want to store sensitive data in the cloud are avoiding Dropbox already. Still, I guess the chances of my data being protected from government surveillance just went from "low" to "zero."

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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby ahammel » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:10 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
ahammel wrote:And a boycott is a totally reasonable reaction in this case as well, particularly since Deopbox has access to tonnes of sensitive data and Rice is a surveillance fan.

Really? I have data on Dropbox, but none of it is sensitive. There are cloud storage services with far better security, so I'd imagine the majority of users who want to store sensitive data in the cloud are avoiding Dropbox already.

I'd be more worried about users who don't much think about the security of their cloud storage services either way (i.e., most people).
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby cphite » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:18 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:And a boycott is a totally reasonable reaction in this case as well, particularly since Deopbox has access to tonnes of sensitive data and Rice is a surveillance fan.


No, it's not a totally reasonable action if you understand what a board of directors actually does.

And as far as her being a fan of surveillance... compared to who? Are you under the illusion that the current administration is any less fond of surveillance than the previous one was?

Strikes me as a really weird appointment. What's Rice's tech background?


She's been on the board of companies like HP and Chevron; her technical background really isn't relevant for a board position because that has nothing to do with the responsibilities of a board of directors.

Typically, a board of directors oversees the general financial direction of a company. They make decisions on investments, executive salaries, and evaluations of overall performance.

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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby ahammel » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:21 pm UTC

cphite wrote:And as far as her being a fan of surveillance... compared to who? Are you under the illusion that the current administration is any less fond of surveillance than the previous one was?
No? Why, is Barack Obama also on the Dropbox board?

If it is demonstrably the case that she will have no impact whatever on their data security policies, then ok, fine.
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:36 pm UTC

I would assume that DropBox is already giving the NSA free reign over their stored data. Just like all of the other mainstream cloud services based in the US.

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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby cphite » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:48 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
cphite wrote:And as far as her being a fan of surveillance... compared to who? Are you under the illusion that the current administration is any less fond of surveillance than the previous one was?


No? Why, is Barack Obama also on the Dropbox board?


She was Secretary of State during a time when the entire government was obsessed with data gathering; and that obsession has only grown since. Democrats and republicans alike supported this crap. Yes, she was a part of it - but the same could be said for the vast majority of people in Congress, and in the government in general. And it's still true now; on a much, much larger scale.

Look - I'm not saying she wasn't part of the problem - I'm not particularly a fan of some of the choices she made - but to single her out given the overall situation is, to put it bluntly, just ridiculous.

And if you're worried about leaders of tech companies being "fans" of surveillance, why not demand that the entire executive management of Google step down? Or the leaders of Apple, Facebook, Verizon, AT&T - hell, basically ALL of the major telecom companies have fallen in lock-step with the government to hand over your data without so much as a whimper. These guys are already snooping your data and handing it over to others to snoop, and you're worried about what Condoleezza Rice might do if placed on a board of directors?

If it is demonstrably the case that she will have no impact whatever on their data security policies, then ok, fine.


The board could have an influence on their security policies at a high level; but again, what is it exactly that you think is going to happen? I sincerely doubt that she personally has an interest in your data; and as far as the government getting their hands on it, at this point if the government wants it, they get it. They don't even need to ask nice.

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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby Derek » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:04 pm UTC

cphite wrote:And if you're worried about leaders of tech companies being "fans" of surveillance, why not demand that the entire executive management of Google step down? Or the leaders of Apple, Facebook, Verizon, AT&T - hell, basically ALL of the major telecom companies have fallen in lock-step with the government to hand over your data without so much as a whimper.

I'm pretty sure that all of these companies have protested the NSA's actions, we're just not allowed to hear about it because the protests happen in secret courts in response to secret warrants. And thus far they've lost every case. Plus most of the information the NSA gets they don't even ask permission for. It's a load of bullshit, but I don't think you can blame it on the corporations.

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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:54 am UTC

It seems rather irrelevant to me to blame Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State) over Donald Rumsfeld's responsibilities (DoD). Or hell, Donald Rumsfeld is only responsible for DoD -> NSA at the time, but the real powers of domestic stuff are granted to the Department of Justice -> FBI, who were under the Attorney General. John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, and Michael Mukasey would be the cabinet level officials responsible for the Wiretapping Program... not Condoleezza Rice. Blaming Rice for the wiretapping program would be equivalent to blaming Donald Rumsfeld over No Child Left Behind. Sure, you may have not liked either Donald Rumsfeld nor the No Child Left Behind school program... but it is rather pointless to blame the wrong people.

Anyway, Bush was the President, so he was ultimately responsible for all of this. But the individual cabinet members are only responsible for their respective department. Dick Chaney was an unusually active Vice President, so he can take a share of the blame as well. Of course, there are also the Congressmen who approved the Patriot Act, which granted the authority to the DoD / DoJ to start the wiretapping program. Again people, US Code 50 section 1861, the Business Records Provision. Those guys deserve the blame. Moving forward to cabinet level positions, there is Donald Rumsfeld (DoD) for implementing the NSA side of things, John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, and Michael Mukasey were responsible for implementing the FBI / DoJ side of things.

And... Condoleezza Rice wasn't even Secretary of State until 2005, a couple of years AFTER we invaded Iraq. She held no position of authority during the Iraq invasion.

I guess there might be some confusion over Condoleezza's position as "National Security Advisor", but this position holds no real power over the various departments. The National Security Advisor is not confirmed by the Senate, and holds no real position of authority. With this position, she was given the ability to meet with the CIA directors and NSA directors regularly, but again, she held no authority over them during her tenure. The point of the National Security Advisor is to keep up with the latest events and warn the President if any imminent danger is going to strike. So obviously, she's be interested in keeping up with the various Intelligence Agencies. Again: not as a policymaker, but as a consumer of information.

EDIT: Condoleezza Rice was rather involved in advising Bush to invade Iraq. Which is why I'm willing to push some blame on to her over the unilateral invasion of Iraq, the Iraq War and that sort of stuff.

But as far as torture and wiretapping? It certainly wasn't her responsibility. I've got lists of people to blame if you want people to blame. But Condoleezza Rice isn't on that list.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:55 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby krogoth » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:29 am UTC

Upload encrypted HE-MAN HEYEAYEA SONG FOR 10 HOURS, with label 'hidden child porn' to dropbox, checkmate, after decrypting it they have to watch it to check right?
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:13 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Like the Brenden Eich case, an internet protest has begun to mobilize against Rice. I've voiced my disdain in the Brenden Eich topic, but I can tell that this Dropbox issue is at least more relevant than the Mozilla one.
A war the ended two years ago is more relevant than ongoing human rights violations? Dafuq?
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:04 pm UTC

Mozilla is actively, currently violating the human rights of...who, now?

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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby Ptolom » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:35 pm UTC

25 people were killed by car bombs mortars in Baghdad only this week. But of course, the war's over, it's not a problem any more.

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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby nitePhyyre » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:08 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Mozilla is actively, currently violating the human rights of...who, now?
Rice is actively, currently engaged in warfare against... who, now?

Ptolom wrote:25 people were killed by car bombs mortars in Baghdad only this week. But of course, the war's over, it's not a problem any more.
And there was about 80 people killed last weekend by gun violence in the US.

Now clearly, war and its effects are far, far, more severe and damaging than not being eligible for tax breaks and all the other problems that stem from non-marriage. But relevant?

It's rather easy to see how someone being a bigot and being in charge of the day to day operations of a company are related.
But I don't see how someone's hawkishness relates at all to the day to day operations of a (non-mercenary) company.

If Rice's controversy was about her being a large player in the Bush administration, an administration that vastly expanded the NSA's ability to collect copious amounts of data, and the inherent conflict that that creates with a data warehouse company, that would be extremely relevant. If that was the source of the controversy, you would get no argument from me that it is more closely related than simple bigotry. But hawkishness seems completely unrelated.
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby Kulantan » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:04 am UTC

krogoth wrote:Upload encrypted HE-MAN HEYEAYEA SONG FOR 10 HOURS, with label 'hidden child porn' to dropbox, checkmate, after decrypting it they have to watch it to check right?

Nah, that would never work. Call it "Super Secret Terrorist Plan - Steganographic Copy".
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Re: Drop-Dropbox movement: Condoleezza Rice appointed to Boa

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:14 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Mozilla is actively, currently violating the human rights of...who, now?
Rice is actively, currently engaged in warfare against... who, now?


I am not saying that Rice IS doing any such thing. I am merely calling out an inaccuracy. I'm not on a particular side or something here, I just prefer that people not use incorrect statements in justifying their chosen side.


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