The Russian government is currently sueing Telegram Messenger LLP, ironically the side-effects of that are affecting pretty much everyone else but the latter.
Russian watch dog group ‘Роскомнадзор‘ (Roskomnadzor) aka The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media are trying to get their hands on the encryption keys for Telegram. While the dystpoian world is slowly creeping in, Telegram aims to provide the polar opposite, a free and secure service that keeps your personal information and conversations safe from third parties. CEO Pavel Durov has criticized the ‘authoritharian’ actions taken against his company as Telegram remained available for most of the Russian residents despite the attempts.
According to the government, the application is being used for criminal activities as all the communication on it is encrypted. Naturally they want to have access to the logs between users and since Telegram have denied that request multiple times, the Russian authorities decided to strike at the heart. Over 20 million IP’s linked to Amazon and Google have been banned, thus causing issues for many users, including those on Twitch, that have never used Telegram in the first place. This is especially bad news for people that are full-time streamers, relying on the platform entirely.
Youtuber ‘Angry_Roleplayer’ has shed some light on the subject by posting a thread on reddit, where they clarify the situation. If you’re currently in the country and not able to access Twitch, it most likely means that your ISP hasn’t found a way around the law enforcement and your best bet would be using a VPN.
This unintentional hit at the popular site could have consequences affecting not only the casual fans, but also the competitive scene as a whole. A lot of the events are directly streamed on Twitch and a decline in viewership will mean reduced interest and losses. Russia’s steadily becoming a bad environment for the development of esports with new restrictions coming up.