SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said some governments recently told the company to block Russian media outlets from its Starlink satellite broadband service. In a he sent out early Saturday, Musk declared the company would not comply with the request “unless at gunpoint.” According to Musk, the demand hadn’t come from Ukraine. “Sorry to be a free speech absolutist,” he added.
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.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2022
Musk also said SpaceX would temporarily shift its priorities to focus on cybersecurity and overcoming signal jamming, a decision he noted would cause “slight delays” in the rollout of its reusable rocket and Starlink V2 satellites.
SpaceX’s position puts it at odds with a growing list of companies that have blocked access to Russian state media across Europe in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine. On February 27th, the European Union said it would Russian state-backed media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik for their role in spreading misinformation and “lies to justify Putin’s war.” Both and were quick to comply with the order, restricting access to the outlets across their European footprint.