Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Do you want an ex US National Security Advisor on your board?

Dropbox (the cloud storage provider) have just announced a new appointment to their board. It’s what is not said in announcements that is so revealing:

We’re proud to welcome Dr. Condoleezza Rice to our Board of Directors.

When looking to grow our board, we sought out a leader who could help us expand our global footprint. 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.
Dropbox Blog 9 April 2014 Growing our leadership team

Presumably they think her experience as the National Security Advisor is not relevant – or perhaps they don’t know. Either way is worrying.

Brilliant, yes; accomplished (as in pianist), yes – but given her involvement in the Bush administration I fear that she has worked the “murky side” too much to be involved in a company to which we trust data. Unless of course there is a public recantation and naming of names about to happen?

Now she’ll help the company think about such matters as international expansion and privacy, an issue that dogs every cloud company in the age of Edward Snowden and the NSA. “As a country, we are having a great national conversation and debate about exactly how to manage privacy concerns,” Rice says about her new position. “I look forward to helping Dropbox navigate it.”
Business Week 9 April 2014 Dropbox’s Next Chapter: Corporate Customers, IPO, Condi Rice, and Eddie Vedder

So someone helping a corporate “navigate” “privacy concerns”; I think I would prefer someone helping customers “stop” “snooping actions”. That may be the same coin – but there are two sides to a coin and I know which side I am on (hint: I am not a Dropbox stockholder)


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