Dropbox Customers Organize Boycott to Protest Condi Rice Ties

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 09:50 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Protesters of Condoleezza Rice's appointment to the board of directors of Dropbox due to her views on Internet surveillance have organized a boycott to encourage people to switch to competing file-sharing sites.

Detractors have set up a website, "Drop Dropbox" to air their complaints about the former Bush administration secretary of state and national security adviser.

Of Rice's April 9 appointment to the Dropbox board, the website stated: "This is deeply disturbing, and anyone — or any business — who values ethics should be concerned."

The main argument against Rice is based on a 2005 TV interview in which she defended the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program, The New York Times reports.

But Dropbox chief executive Drew Houston is standing by Rice.

"There’s nothing more important to us than keeping your stuff safe and secure," Houston wrote on the Dropbox website.

"It’s why we’ve been fighting for transparency and government surveillance reform, and why we’ve been vocal and public with our principles and values. We should have been clearer that none of this is going to change with Dr. Rice’s appointment to our Board....

"We’re honored to have Dr. Rice join our board — she brings an incredible amount of experience and insight into international markets and the dynamics that define them. As we continue to expand into new countries, we need that type of insight to help us reach new users and defend their rights. Dr. Rice understands our stance on these issues and fully supports our commitments to our users."

Many Dropbox users weren't appeased.

The Times said "hundreds" of posts on the site were critical of Houston's position, indicating they'd stop subscribing, and along with posting videos and articles critical of Rice's service under President George W. Bush, users were urged to share the Twitter hashtag, #DropDropbox.

Rice has also been targeted by protesters at two universities, Rutgers and the University of Minnesota, for her service in the George W. Bush administration.

But in a passionate defense, National Review editor Rich Lowry earlier this week called for an end to the "hounding" and "harassment."

"The mob ... believes that her due punishment for serving the wrong administration in the wrong cause should be her banishment from the company of any person or institution who disagrees with her."

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