Elon Musk: We're Curbing Starlink's Use in Ukraine to Prevent WWIII

Elon Musk: We’re Curbing Starlink’s Use in Ukraine to Prevent WWIII

Elon Musk this weekend defended SpaceX’s decision to restrict Ukraine’s use of the Stellar Link satellite internet system to launch drone strikes against Russia, citing the “escalation” threat.

“Starlink is Ukraine’s communication backbone, especially on the front lines, where almost all other internet connections have been destroyed,” Musk said. writing(Opens in a new window). “But we will not allow the conflict to escalate which could lead to World War III.”

A few days earlier, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell confirmed the company had taken steps to limit the Ukrainian military’s ability to use Starlink to fly unmanned drones to the front lines of war. “It was never intended to be armed,” Shotwell said of Starlink’s battlefield uses. “On the other hand, they are trying to fight for their country.”

However, the decision does not please everyone. On Twitter, former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly called on Musk to lift restrictions on Ukraine’s use of Starlink. “Please restore full functionality to your Starlink satellites. Defense against a genocidal invasion is not an offensive capability. It is survival. Innocent lives will be lost,” Kelly tweeted(Opens in a new window) Friday.

Musk replied, “You’re smart enough not to swallow the media and other propaganda bs.”

In a separate space Tweeter(Opens in a new window), Musk added, “SpaceX Commercial Terminals, like other commercial products, are intended for private, non-military use, but we have not exercised our right to disable them. We strive to do the right thing, where the “right thing” is an extremely difficult moral question.

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Starlink’s weaponization ethic occurs when US and European allies have spent million to bring the satellite Internet system to Ukraine. At least one government official in Ukraine has also publicly urged(Opens in a new window) SpaceX to lift restrictions.

Russia, on the other hand, made veiled threats to attack Starlink, citing its use in Ukraine. A Russian company even complaints making the technology capable of detecting and tracking Starlink dishes on the battlefield.

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