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Condoleezza Rice appointment to Dropbox board provokes strong reactions

If she listens to the haters, there will be tears on her pilau
Fri Apr 11 2014, 17:05

YESTERDAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT that former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has joined the board of Dropbox has set tongues a-wagging in the IT sector.

The company said Ms Rice be involved in securing a foothold in international territories, particularly those where censorship concerns might prevent easy passage.

One INQUIRER reader said "Going public and adding a woman I can't truthfully describe without opening up myself to a defamation lawsuit? Guess I'm going to need to find another cloud storage option ASAP."

The issue stems from Ms Rice's involvement in the Bush administration, which was instrumental in setting up of the PRISM monitoring programme that was revealed at the beginning NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's ongoing revelations.

Ms Rice is said to have supported mass data collection, which many believe brings into question her credentials to work on for a service that requires security and anonymity.

Anthony Foy, CEO of file sharing and collaboration outfit Workshare told The INQUIRER, "Condoleezza would be an asset to most companies, however she also carries a lot of baggage and this could certainly impact the way people view Dropbox and whether it can maintain a real separation between the company and her history."

We asked Mr Foy whether Dropbox could maintain credibility as a secure platform for filesharing. He told us, "We can expect to see a continued backlash from organisations and IT, who expect a business-ready application to provide full visibility over how work documents are being stored and shared, and gives IT complete control."

Not everyone would agree, however, with one commenter responding to the announcement on the Dropbox site with the gushing, "I am elated to hear that Dropbox has made the very wise decision to have Condoleezza Rice on the board. She is an amazing individual who has an impeccable record, who happens to be one of my idles [we she they meant idols].

"She is a wonderful human being, and has in my view, been incredibly humble for a person with all of her accomplishments. I will not only be signing up for Dropbox, I will be spreading the word of the virtues of the company. Thank you Dropbox for being so intelligent. The crazies can just move on."

The appointment of Ms Rice was only one of the announcements Dropbox made yesterday, with the company also announcing several launches in the run up to its IPO, which has valued the company at $8bn. µ


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