Adobe Inc., a U.S. software company, announced last week that it has blocked access to its customers in the South American country of Venezuela. As of October 29, Venezuelan citizens will no longer be able to access services such as Photoshop CC and Premiere Pro CC. Users will no longer be able to access data stored in the Creative Cloud if it has not been previously backed up. These restrictions represent a severe blow to the country's creative industry.
But how did this step come about? The background is an executive order issued by US President Donald Trump in August this year. The Executive Order with the code number 13884 prohibits any kind of transaction as well as services between US companies and Venezuela. The reason for Trump's decision is the ongoing conflict between the current president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro and his political opponent Juan Guaidó, on whose side the US government is now taking. The order was therefore intended to restrict government activities.
The fact that a decision by the US government can have such consequences for citizens of another country due to the dominance of US software companies also highlights Europe's dependence on US legislation. After all, US services - including those from the cloud - are omnipresent. The question therefore remains whether a similar situation could also occur in this country, with millions of citizens no longer being able to use numerous services or even running the risk of no longer being able to access their stored data. In the context of the situation in Venezuela, the voices are becoming clearer after the strengthening of the European infrastructure in the cloud.
In principle, however, much more is at stake. All in all, it is a question of innovative strength as a driver for the sovereignty of the continent of Europe and thus the preservation of an established cultural and value model. In the mantle of democracy, this has brought us decades of peace, freedom and prosperity. Digitalisation is advancing at a rapid pace, and technological developments are shaping the world in which we live and work today and in the future. 5G accompanied by the automation of entire industries, mobile working at all times, smart cities and the emergence of artificial intelligence, as well as a fundamentally changed mobility behavior are just a few examples. Edge, fog and cloud computing are cornerstones of this technological progress. Our society is currently completely dependent on foreign countries and is at the mercy of the political interests of foreign powers. The situation in Venezuela clearly shows the blackmailing nature of a digitalized society.
For this reason, Germany and Europe must, on the one hand, find the best experts and products, promote training and share knowledge, establish a cooperative association to fight for digital independence in the common spirit of Europe and establish market-leading solutions. On the other hand, the EU-GDPR offers a framework for the protection of intellectual property and privacy. Furthermore, regulations and compliance require companies to adhere to strict process chains and to be able to prove compliance at all times.
European cloud providers must commit to these values and regulations. This includes ensuring that their services - certified and tested according to the highest data and security standards - offer protection of intellectual property in compliance with the GDPR. This includes the sovereign control of data in business, automation and object-based IoT environments. Client-side encryption should also be a matter of course, ensuring maximum data security and protection. Ideally, the possibility of a complete integration of the solution in business processes helps to map automations in compliance with GDPR and to fundamentally prevent shadow IT. We, as a European provider of a solution from the field of Enterprise File Sharing, see ourselves as the nucleus of a digitally sovereign society and ensure innovation through numerous partnerships and technological integrations. Armed in this way, Europe can decisively counteract its dependence on US jurisdiction.