Starlink Won’t Block Russian News ‘Unless at Gunpoint’ Says Elon Musk

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has revealed some governments have asked the company to block Russian news sources on its Starlink satellite internet service.

Musk detailed the request on Friday evening, saying, “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,” emphasized Musk.

When someone pushed back that Russian news resources are propaganda, Musk replied, “all news sources are partially propaganda, some more than others.”

Musk is no stranger when it comes to supporting free speech.

During protests of vaccine mandates by truckers in Canada, Musk sided with the latter group, saying “Canadian truckers rule” in late January. “CB radios are free from govt/media control,” said Musk, adding “Freedom is being stripped away one piece at a time until it is gone.”

The news comes after Musk enabled Starlink internet after a request from Ukraine, plus sent over a truckload of Starlink terminals (or dishes) to connect to satellites in lower Earth orbit for internet. Download speed tests in Ukraine on Starlink have topped 200 Mbps download.

Musk also shared a warning for those using Starlink in Ukraine, citing use of the dish and service means they would be a target from Russians invading the country.

He suggested for users to only use Starlink when necessary and to place the satellite dish as far away from humans as possible, or even consider camouflaging the dish, which requires a clear view of the sky for signal. Musk also said SpaceX issued a software update to lower the power requirement for Starlink to be that of just a car cigarette adapter.

Numerous western media, telecom and tech companies such as Apple and Google have been blocking Russian state-backed TV channels and websites from App Stores and cable TV, in retaliation for the Russian Federation’s attack on Ukraine.