Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, said on March 5, 2022, that some governments, but not Ukraine, have urged his company’s Starlink satellite internet service to block Russian news outlets. In a tweet, he wrote, “We will not do so unless at ‘gunpoint,’ sorry to be a free speech absolutist.” Musk also stated that SpaceX’s focus has shifted to cyber security and communication jamming, which will result in minor delays in Starship and Starlink V2. Here is What Did Elon Musk Urge?
In the earlier week, Elon Musk warned that the company’s Starlink spacecraft could be “targeted” in Ukraine, which Russia invaded in the last week of February 2022. That time, Elon Musk warned that the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service could be “targeted” in Ukraine, which has been ravaged by Russian aggression.
The warning comes only days after an internet security researcher cautioned that satellite communications devices might be turned into “beacons” that Russia could use to launch airstrikes. “Important warning: In certain places of Ukraine, Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still operational; therefore, the chances of being attacked are considerable. Please use caution when using this”, Musk tweeted.
He advised users to “only use Starlink when vital and keep the antenna as far away from people as feasible,” as well as “apply light camouflage over the antenna to avoid visual detection.” Ukraine announced on February 28, 2022, that it has received donated Starlink satellite internet terminals, but an internet security analyst warned that Russia might use them.
“…if Putin controls the air above Ukraine, users’ uplink transmissions become beacons … for airstrikes,” John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab project, tweeted. “Russia has decades of experience hitting people by targeting their satellite communications,” he added in a series of 15 tweets detailing the risks.
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