Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dropbox Infuriates Tech World by Appointing Condoleezza Rice to Board

One of the interesting developments in the world of technology is how closely the hive mind of the tech world tracks modern progressive political thought.  Although tech tycoons pick and choose among progressive Democrats and finance-oriented Republicans to support, they are more often falling afoul these days with tech users when they choose executives and board members seen as conservative.  

After last month's Mozilla scuffle ended with a new executive's resignation after his financial support against equal marriage rights became public, now it is Dropbox in the hot seat.  The massive and growing file-storage application has ignited an uproar and Twitter campaign to #dropDropbox when it announced that former Bush official Condoleezza Rice would be joining the company's board.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
Los Angeles Times

Link to article:

Excerpt: "The week seemed to start off on a triumphant note for hot Silicon Valley start-up Dropbox. The company held a media event Wednesday to unveil a slew of new applications designed to demonstrate its expanding vision as it marches closer to an anticipated initial public offering.

But the week is ending in controversy over this announcement: Dropbox added Condeelezza Rice to its board.

'When looking to grow our board, we sought out a leader who could help us expand our global footprint,' co-founder Drew Houston wrote on the company's blog. '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 decision to add Rice, who was secretary of State and national security advisor under President George W. Bush, prompted hundreds of often heated comments on the blog. And it triggered a campaign called Drop Dropbox.

'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,' organizers wrote on the protest website. 'When a company quite literally has access to all of your data, ethics become more than a fun thought experiment.'

The site points to Rice's role in launching the Iraq war, overseeing a CIA program accused of using torture and supporting warrant-less wiretaps. The site included a button to tweet the message: 'Drew Houston: Drop Condoleezza Rice or I will #DropDropbox!'

That indeed sparked a flurry of tweets and counter-tweets debating Rice's appointment.

On Friday, Houston responded with a blog post saying that Dropbox remained committed to its users. "

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