Elon Musk was right to cede Starlink access to Pentagon, says biographer

14 September, 12:00 AM
Elon Musk (Photo:REUTERS/Leah Millis)

Elon Musk (Photo:REUTERS/Leah Millis)

U.S. billionaire Elon Musk has agreed to sell a portion of Starlink assets to the U.S. Department of Defense, removing himself from decision-making regarding geofencing Ukraine’s access to the satellite internet service, Musk’s biographer Walter Isaacson told The Washington Post on Sept. 13.

Isaacson describe the move as a “right outcome.”

“What he did, which I think is the right outcome, is he decided to sell and give total control of a certain amount of Starlink equipment, Starlink services to the U.S. military, so that he no longer controls the geofencing, he no longer controls the terms of use,” said Isaacson.

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He also suggested that the Ukrainian military has only limited access to Starlink connectivity in eastern Ukraine, in addition to Crimea.

“Musk had not enabled it [Starlink] in Crimea and kept that a secret …; they can’t figure out because Musk also decides not to enable it in parts of eastern Ukraine because he doesn’t want it to be used for offensive purposes,” the biographer adds.

Musk allegedly secretly ordered his engineers to disable Starlink off the coast of occupied Crimea in 2022 to disrupt a Ukrainian Defense Forces' attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet, CNN reported on Sept. 7, citing an excerpt from a new biography of Musk by Isaacson.

Later, Musk claimed he did not turn off the satellite network as it was not active in the area to begin with. He said that while he refused to connect it at Ukraine’s request, he did so out of not wanting to be "complicit in a major act of war."

Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence stated that the information about the billionaire's involvement in the disruption of the attack on the Russian fleet in the Black Sea needs to be verified.

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