Pro-Russian media sources will not be muzzled by Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite broadband internet.
This is being targeted by western countries as part of a global assault on propaganda emanating from Moscow over the country’s conflict with Ukraine.
Free Speech Absolutist
After Russia decided to invade Ukraine on Sunday, Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, said it was a matter of free expression.
Musk said his company’s communications network was set up to ensure dialogue could not be cut off within the attacked country. His viewpoint directly opposes social media platforms that actively exclude pro-Russian opinions on the conflict.
“We will not do so, except if forced to do so by ‘gunpoint,'” Musk said in a tweet. “Sorry for being a free speech absolutist,” Musk added.
Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources. We will not do so unless at gunpoint.
Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2022
Musk also stated SpaceX is concentrating its efforts on securing its Starlink system against cyberattacks and signal jamming.
This undertaking could result in delays for users of the system. According to recent reports, devices used for satellite communications in Ukraine could be targeted by Russian attacks if they are not properly protected.
In the form of a tweet, Musk issued a critical warning.
Because Starlink is the only non-Russian communication network still operational in some sections of Ukraine, there is a significant likelihood it will be attacked. Please use caution when using this product.
While western governments and media organizations have worked to prevent Moscow from spreading false information, much of Russia’s internet seclusion is being driven from within the country.
Ruskomnadzor, Russia’s technology and communications regulatory body, blocked access to social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, and expelled western media outlets from the country.
They also threatened to arrest reporters who distribute what they believe to be false information.
Media and Internet Access
During a video conference call on Friday, Michael McFaul, a former United States ambassador to Russia who now serves as the director of Stanford’s International School, remarked, “This is a fork in the road in the history of the world.”
Originally, the world’s wealthiest person was devoted to ensuring Ukrainians could remain connected to the internet during the Russian invasion of their country.
Elon, you're not describing the concept of "free speech". Free speech is the liberty to say something without fear of punishment by the state.
Meanwhile, Russian state news is quite literally blocking different opinions + the gov't is criminalizing criticism of it.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️⚧️🇺🇦 (@cmclymer) March 5, 2022
Since the beginning of the attack last month, some Ukrainians have been subjected to blackouts and power shortages.
Having access to the internet is critical in preserving and disseminating information about the country’s ever-changing developments.
Therefore, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation has made a plea to SpaceX founder Elon Musk to assist the country by offering his Starlink satellite internet access.
A notable feature of the war in Ukraine is it has been broadcast digitally, with ordinary Ukrainians posting images and videos of the occupying Russian military and strikes on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.
Fedorov also requested other internet giants to help fight against Russia’s cyberattacks.
He asked Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg to block Russians from accessing the social networks run by his company, which was recently renamed “Meta.”