Condoleezza Rice, surveillance and torture fan, joins Dropbox board

Like this one?

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I don’t understand why politicians in general are on boards of tech companies. Democrat or Republican. It doesn’t matter. If you don’t have a technical background, what’s the point?

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What’s the POINT??? Dear lord don’t you understand the cufking concept of MONEY???


If SpiderOak’s Android app weren’t crippled, I would recommend them, as the rest of their service has been pretty good.


Sure, but I would have thought that a former Secretary of State would go for something more traditionally prestigious than a tech startup that hasn’t been bought by Facebook yet.

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Maybe … except that this way when they DO get bought by Facebook she’ll be in line for a cool hundred mil or so as a gratuity for all her excellent advice. Or sumfink. Money buys prestige, and a lot of money buys a lot of prestige.

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Can someone give me a quick refresher on why we hate Dropbox?

I hate drop box because I help elderly people better use their computers and the drop box Icon and status indicators are about 24x24 pixels small.

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The icons and status indicators are pretty irrelevant in my view. For me, as an end user who can be technical but has more than enough to worry about without building my own servers, learning to run linux, etc, dropbox has been incredibly useful in getting my documents synced up across various devices. i wouldn’t store passwords to my bank accounts on it, but for everything else it’s been great. i would honestly like to know if there is something i am missing that should make me feel differently about the service, or if people are haters just because it’s been super successful and there is some marginally better, but much more technically complicated, way to achieve the same result of having documents available across devices and automatically backed up.

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Can someone give me a quick refresher on why we hate Dropbox?

They are a US company focusing on cloud storage

It stands to reason that they are sharing everything with the NSA in return for funding, and are allowing automated spying on anything and everything saved into Dropbox, to prevent “terrrrism” and to provide an economic advantage to the USA, if any business information is Dropboxed. If you’re cool with the USA reading your files then it’s still a reasonably good service - however most people are not happy with the idea.

Dropbox should open a European wing in Iceland called “Falla Kassi” so they have an offering for people who want some form of data security.


If you want a good reason, they have a terrible security history (you could even say cavalier), which isn’t a good quality to have when you’re a service that exists almost solely to let users share personal files between hardware.

And if you’re a sysadmin, especially if you’re tasked with both keeping company secrets safe on one hand but tasked with making BYOD dead-simple on the other, the notion of people being able to drop company documents into Dropbox so they can finish their work at home…*shudder*

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Can anyone recommend a more secure, (almost) equally convenient service which works with Android?

I mostly use it to sync phone camera uploads, which I’m not particularly worried about the privacy of given what I take photos of – but also my password safe file, which, granted, is encrypted, but still.

I guess that this the kick I needed to finally get me to set up ownCloud…

After her terrible work in the Bush administration, it does anger me that she finds work anywhere doing anything. Let alone some high-level management gig that I’m sure pays 6 if not 7 or more figures.

But she does have a right to work, and I don’t think it’s a good or useful thing in our culture to think that people don’t deserve good jobs because their politics are terrible.

So I’ll be keeping a wary eye on Dropbox, to make sure their product doesn’t turn to suck. This does cause me to question their upper-level technical savvy. Beyond that, on to other things.

Who could have possibly thought this was a good idea? Did they think that bringing on this vilified person with no particular known technological prowess would somehow raise their profile and make them look more trustworthy in the face of mounting security concerns? Especially coming the week after that unpleasantness with the Mozilla CEO?

Actually, I will probably keep using DropBox because I know of nothing else that allows for convenient public linking of uploaded files. (Of course I am not concerned about the privacy of public links.)

I dunno about the rest of you guys, but I hate Dropbox because they let Condoleezza Rice, surveillance and torture fan, join the Dropbox board.


People don’t deserve jobs that their politics explicitly make them dangerously terrible at. Someone who opposes gay rights shouldn’t be an HR manager, someone who doesn’t believe in climate change shouldn’t be an environmental director, and someone who supports unlimited government surveillance shouldn’t be in charge of a privacy-sensitive online storage service.

No one’s saying these guys can’t be lawyers or bankers or doctors. They just shouldn’t be things that they proudly suck at.


The problem is that ‘terrible politics’ can either(or both) mean ‘political positions that are unbelievably dreadful in some way; but orthogonal to the job’ (in which case it would be dangerous witch-huntery to start casting them out, as well as probably going badly in conservativestan) or ‘quite specific terrible policy decisions and positions that cast someone’s suitability for the job into direct doubt’.

Hers are the latter. Company that makes data storage/transfer product + authoritarian surveillance enthusiast with known history of severely dubious wiretapping activity and assorted mendacity above and beyond the call of duty? Those are terrible politics; but they are also positions directly contrary to what you’d want in that company..

Not hiring people who are overtly unsuitable candidates (even if their unsuitability happens to be an in area we call ‘political’, rather than something like laziness) is merely sensible.


I’m pretty sure Canada is an APEC member. There was a great deal of controversy surrounding the 1997 APEC conference in Vancouver and the use of pepper spray on protesters.

Video archive:


For me the defining moment was the aftermath of a security breach long ago.

At the time many users didn’t realize that the encryption used by Dropbox protects only against third parties. Dropbox has unlimited access to your files and so do sufficiently successful attackers. That is not really surprising if you have at least some technical background knowledge and think about the implications of certain features for a minute. However you can’t expect everyone to notice this and the Dropbox documentation was horribly evasive on that point.

When the coverage of the breach drew attention to this, many users were understandably upset. The way Dropbox handled the issue told me two things:

  1. They are willing to go to greater lengths to mislead their customers than I am comfortable with.

  2. They basically put their foot down and said that security would never be as good as it could be because that wasn’t what they wanted for Dropbox.

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