Dropbox has responded to criticism of its decision to appoint Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors by reassuring customers that their privacy and rights will not be affected. However, the move does not appear to have appeased many, who have posted angry comments on the company blog.
The controversy began last week when it emerged that Dropbox had appointed the former US secretary of state to its board of directors. As Rice had been a key figure in the Bush administration, it caused a storm of protest from customers who claimed her appointment was inappropriate, because of her involvement in driving war in Iraq, and because the Bush administration oversaw the expansion of the NSA's spying activities on the internet.
Dropbox founder and chief executive Drew Houston defended the appointment on the firm's blog. "There's nothing more important to us than keeping your stuff safe and secure. 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," he said.
Houston added that Rice's expertise would instead help to drive the company's expansion. "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," he explained.
Dropbox customers have bombarded the blog with negative comments, and many indicated that they will switch to other cloud storage services if Rice remains with the firm.
"Even though your service costs more than competing services, I was willing to stay because I really loved the work you all did. But I can't in good conscious [sic] support a company that would hire a spy advocate and war criminal. I'll be taking my business to Google Drive," wrote one customer.
Some respondents have defended the firm, however, with one commenter stating: "I completely support this. Ms. Rice is highly qualified, and I choose to stand with Dropbox. This politically-based shaming is absolutely appalling."
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