‘Free Speech Absolutist’ Elon Musk Says Starlink Won’t Block Russian News Media Outlets

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that Starlink will not block Russian news media outlets because doing so would stifle free speech – a decision that dovetails with the foundational principles of bitcoin (BTC) on freedom.

Starlink is the satellite Internet division of Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX. The firm has more than 1,469 Starlink satellites active, with another 272 reportedly moving to operational orbits soon.

In a tweet on Saturday, the billionaire said that Starlink will not cut off Russian media unless at gunpoint. Musk wrote:

“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.”

Tech giants switch off Russian media

Several tech giants including Apple, Google, Meta (formerly Facebook), Twitter and YouTube have already banned Russian news organizations such as RT and Sputnik following Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Musk also said that “SpaceX reprioritized to cyber defense and overcoming signal jamming. Will cause slight delays in Starship and Starlink V2.”

Starlink made satellite broadband services available in Ukraine on Feb. 27, in response to a request by Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov.

Internet connectivity has become erratic following the Russian invasion. Satellite technology can help provide Internet services to people living in remote areas.

“Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still working in some parts of Ukraine, so probability of being targeted is high. Please use with caution,” Musk said in an earlier tweet.

Bitcoin as a catalyst for freedom

Musk’s comments on free speech resonate with the cypherpunk politics of undercutting surveillance, central control, and financial exclusion – concepts that led to the rise of bitcoin, along with a host of other imitators.

Bitcoin is founded on the principle of individual freedom, resisting any form of censorship. In the current configuration of the tech industry, crypto is seen as liberating and disruptive, at a time when corporations like Google and Meta are disapprovingly seen as representing the status quo.

Bitcoin, in particular, has trended favorably among “digital leftists” who advocate a world that is unhinged from corporate and political centers. Already sold on crypto, Musk may emerge as a champion for Internet freedom with his refusal to bow down to governmental pressure.

Top crypto YouTuber Matt Wallace said: “Free speech is one of the most important things on the planet,” responding to the billionaire’s tweet.

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  • Elon Musk
  • Russia Sanctions
  • Starlink
  • Ukraine Russia
Jeffrey Gogo
Jeffrey Gogo

Jeffrey Gogo is a Zimbabwean financial journalist with more than 18 years of experience covering local and global financial markets; economic and company news. A climate change enthusiast, Gogo first encountered bitcoin in 2014 and began covering crypto markets in 2017.

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