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Starlink won’t block Russian news sources: Elon Musk

Russia-Ukraine war: Elon Musk said some governments, not Ukraine, have asked Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite broadband service, to block Russian news sources.

Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite broadband service, has been told to block Russian news sources, the aerospace company’s founder Elon Musk said on Saturday.

Elon Musk clarified that it was not the Ukrainian government seeking to stop news.

“We will not do so unless at gunpoint,” Musk added. “Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”

Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX had shipped Starlink terminals to Ukraine based on a request from the country’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

“While you try to colonize Mars Russia tries to occupy Ukraine! Fedorov had told Musk. “While your rockets successfully land from space Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations.”

Multiple instances of news censorship and possible cyberattacks have emerged amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

On Friday, Musk had cautioned that Starlink could be targeted in Ukraine amid the war with Russia.

Responding to a journalist’s question on whether Starlink was at risk of Russian cyberattacks, Elon Musk said: “Almost all (of) Viasat (an American company’s ) Ukraine user terminals were rendered permanently unusable by a Russian cyberattack on day of invasion, so yes.”

Musk added that Starlink was the only non-Russian communications system still functioning in some parts of Ukraine. “So probability of being targeted is high,” he added. “Please use with caution.”

Starlink operates more than 2,000 satellites with an aim to provide internet access across the planet.

The internet constellation charges $99 per month for a plan with speed up to 150 Megabits per second (Mbps). Charges for the equipment, which includes a satellite dish and a router, can be up to to $500. Moneycontrol

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