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Elon Musk Refuses to Censor Russian News Sources From Starlink

Elon Musk

Elon Musk - thaddeus cesari/ Flickr

After requesting him to block Russian news sources from Starlink, Elon Musk replied to the government, “We will not do so unless at gunpoint. Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”

On Twitter, people divide between supporters of SpaceX CEO’s decision not to give in to government requests. And those who didn’t like it. A user told Musk, that “Russian ‘news’ resources are propaganda resources.” “All new sources are partially propaganda, some more than others.” Musk replied.

Starlink supporting Ukrania in its war

According to its website description, SpaceX’s Starlink is “The service “provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet across the globe,”

On Feb. 26, Ukraine’s vice prime minister and the country’s minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov,
asked Musk for help on Twitter.

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“While you try to colonize Mars — Russia tries to occupy Ukraine. While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people. We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.” Fedorov wrote.

Musk replied after a while by saying: “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.” The vice prime minister tweeted thanking Musk: “Starlink keeps our cities connected and emergency services saving lives.”

Tesla CEO Tweeted on Friday, “Hold strong Ukraine. Also my sympathies to the great people of Russia who do not want this.”

This week, Russia’s parliament passed a draconian censorship bill to prosecute anyone spreading “false news”, which is anything not officially approved by the Kremlin, regarding the Russian military. That will include fines and up to 15 years imprisonment. Moreover, the Russian government can also prosecute anti-war protestors and those calling for foreign sanctions on Russia.

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media regulator, also issued strict guidelines for coverage of Ukraine and the Russian military. The only information that the local media across the country can publish, should be from official sources. In addition, the government prohibits words like “invasion” or a “war” while describing the attacks on Ukraine. They must call it a “special military operation.” Instead of that.

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