Adobe secures deal with US gov’t to sell to Venezuela, customer access restored

Talks to circumvent US sanctions have been fruitful, it seems.

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Adobe has secured an agreement with the United States government to continue sales and licensing in Venezuela, with customer access promised to be restored within a week. 

Earlier this month, the software giant said that conforming to US sanctions imposed on the country required the cancellation of all subscriptions and the deletion of accounts belonging to Venezuelan users. 

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The US government's Executive Order 13884, backed by the US Department of Treasury, imposes economic sanctions that prevent business associations between US firms and Venezuelan entities. 

US President Trump cited ongoing human rights abuses and the "continued usurpation of power by [Venezuelan President] Nicolas Maduro and persons affiliated with him" as the reasons for the order. 

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Adobe gave users a deadline of October 28 to download their files and preserve their work. Free and paid services were due to be withdrawn, and while the company originally said that no refunds would be issued, Adobe backtracked and promised to refund those impacted. 

In addition, the firm said its social media platform, Behance, would still be accessible.

The deadline was today. However, Chris Hall, Adobe's Adobe's Digital Media global Customer Experience chief, said in a blog post that discussions with the Trump Administration have granted Adobe and its Venezuelan customer base a last-minute reprieve.

Adobe has been granted a license to continue its business operations and sales in the country for Digital Media products and services. 

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As a result, Venezuelan customers that were expecting to be fully locked out of premium services including Adobe's Creative Cloud and Document Cloud, as well as any content stored within, can expect to have their access restored within a week.

"We heard directly from you, our users in Venezuela, about your passion for the work that you do," Hall said. "You shared stories of how important our products are in your ability to create, and what it means to build amazing digital experiences through each and every one of our products.

As always, we continue to be deeply committed to powering creativity for all, and we're delighted to have the ability to continue to do so in Venezuela."

In related news this week, researchers uncovered an Elasticsearch database that exposed information belonging to almost 7.5 million Adobe Creative Cloud users. Email addresses, usernames, and basic account details were leaked but no credentials or financial information. Once informed of the database, Adobe secured the system on the same day.

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