Elon Musk stated in a tweet Friday night that foreign government officials had asked his satellite internet company Starlink to block Russian news sources in response to Ukraine’s unjustified invasion.
He will not do so unless forced to, he said late Friday on Twitter, adding, “Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.” Mr. Musk did not say who had asked that Starlink block Russian news. Musk did not specify which governments he was referring to in his tweet, but he did say it was not Ukraine.
Russian news references mislead the audience
Musk, who frequently uses Twitter to express his opinions on a variety of topics, had earlier in the day expressed support for Ukraine amid the fighting. “Hold Strong Ukraine,” he tweeted, adding that he sympathized with Russia’s great people, who do not want this.
Russian news outlets, such as RT, act as a global megaphone for Russian President Vladimir Putin, misleading audiences and diverting attention away from the issues at hand. On Friday, Putin signed a censorship bill, making it impossible for news organizations to report the news in or from Russia accurately, CNN reported.
Cyber defense and signal jamming
France 24 posted that Starlink was launched in Ukraine last week after Kyiv digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov urged Musk to provide the beleaguered country with stations days after neighboring Russia invaded it.
Musk also stated that SpaceX’s focus shifted to cyber defense and signal jamming, which will end up causing minor delays in Starship and Starlink V2. Earlier this week, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk warned that the company’s Starlink satellite could be “targeted” in Ukraine, which Russia invaded last week. Musk has released statements of support for the Ukrainian people in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week.
He has also alerted Starlink users in Ukraine to ensure that their use of the satellite internet system does not turn them into a target for Russian forces. Because Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still operational in some parts of Ukraine, it will likely be targeted, Musk tweeted on March 3.