Elon Musk announced via Twitter on Friday that he would be activating his Starlink internet service in Iran, where protests have escalated since the death last week of a 22-year-old woman arrested by morality police for “inappropriate clothing”.
The billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of SpaceX was responding to announcements by top officials that the US would help block Iranian efforts to censor the protesters. In response to the demonstrations, Tehran blocked Internet access for most citizens on Wednesday.
“As courageous Iranians take to the streets to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, the United States is doubling down on its support for the free flow of information to the Iranian people,” Deputy Finance Minister Wally Adeyemo said, according to Reuters.
The Treasury Department issued guidelines on Friday to expand internet services available to Iranians despite US sanctions against the country.
Musk’s move came after a tweet from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said the United States had taken steps “to promote internet freedom and the free flow of information” for the Iranian people.
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Blinken was referring to Treasury Department guidance issued earlier in the day.
With the flourish and brevity typical of his tweets, Musk simply replied, “Activating Starlink…”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 23, 2022
Musk said on Monday that SpaceX would seek an exemption from sanctions against Iran to deploy Starlink there.
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Musk had taken similar action for Ukraine when Russian forces attempted to shut down telecommunications early in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.
Starlink’s ability to respond to Russian jamming attempts to prevent Ukrainians from communicating with the outside world in April was praised by the Pentagon. Dave Tremper, director of electronic warfare at the Secretary of Defense’s office, noted at the time that the Pentagon could only envy the company’s responsiveness, according to Business Insider.
Tremper told reporters that just a day after Russian forces began disrupting Starlink in Ukraine, “Starlink flipped a line of code and fixed it.” The attack “just wasn’t effective anymore,” he added.
“Of a [electronic warfare] Technologist’s perspective, that’s fantastic,” said Tremper. “That paradigm and how they did it is kind of obvious to me.”
Musk shared with the Iranian effort when another Twitter user contacted him on Monday.
The request came from Die Welt Persian journalist Erfan Kasraie, who asked: “I’m sure you won’t answer that Mr Musk, but is it technically possible to make Starlink available to the Iranians?” It could be a game changer for the future.”
Musk replied, “Starlink will request an exemption from Iranian sanctions in this regard.”
Starlink will request an exemption from Iranian sanctions in this regard
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 19, 2022
The deed was done on Friday.
https://www.westernjournal.com/elon-musk-hits-iran-regime-devastating-news-protesters-now-access-top-technology/ Protesters Now Have Access to Top Technology